Eagle Scout helps build Gaga Ball pit at Vinland

With the new school year under way, students at Vinland Elementary have quickly gone gaga over a new dodgeball-like game that they can now play at there.

Asher Strong, 12, a Boy Scout from Troop 1830 and a Poulsbo Middle School student, saw that his old elementary school did not have a Gaga Ball pit for the game, so he decided to build one as part of his Eagle Scout project. He wrote a proposal to get approval from the school principal and district. Asher also had local businesses, family and friends, and Vinland students donate money they collected through a coin drive. This summer Asher held a work party to build the pit and completed the project in two days.

Gaga Ball is believed to have originated in Israel, in the 1950’s. ‘Ga’ means “hit” or “touch” in Hebrew. In the rules, the ball must touch the ground two times before it is considered in play, hence the name. The goal is to hit the ball at or below opponents’ knees to eliminate them from the pit. The last one left in the pit is the winner. Then, a new game starts, and everyone jumps back in.

Asher’s goal was to provide an all-inclusive, outdoor activity that would engage students after lunch or during physical education classes. He also wanted to include an ADA doorway so that everyone could join in. “It was nice to show people that even kids who are my age can accomplish great things, and I could really feel the communities’ support the entire time,” he said.