Students celebrate end of year with food fight

Beth Kornegay/Special to the Times
Edyn Jackson, Alyssa Streit and Maidson Markley participated in the Kaw Valley Young Life’s annual end of school food fight event.

Robyn Self may have gotten some strange looks when she went to a wholesale store recently to purchase 575 packages of ramen noodles and 25 bags of flour, but she knew it was for a fun cause. As area director of Young Life, an international Christian youth organization, she was getting supplies for the group’s annual end of school celebration.

Young Life started in 1941 and operates around the United States as well as 104 countries worldwide. The group’s mission is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. It is divided into WyldLife for middle school students and Young Life for high school students. The majority of students attend Basehor-Linwood USD 458, where the ministry launched in 2007, but it has expanded to include students along the K-7 corridor.

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Both WyldLife and Young Life groups met once per week during the school year. Each event had an element of fun and play, but also included messages from the New Testament gospels. Leadership teams mentored the groups and helped the students navigate life.

More than 80 students attended the end-of-year celebration which celebrated eighth-graders leaving WyldLife and advancing to Young Life as well as inviting current fifth-graders who may be interested in joining the group beginning this fall.

In addition to the packages of ramen noodles and 100 pounds of flour, 400 water balloons and 25 pounds of color powder were ordered in advance. Two days before the event, a team of volunteers put all of the noodles into plastic feeding troughs and the day of the event, those troughs were filled with water to make the noodles expand. Water balloons were then filled in preparation for a water balloon fight.

“We lined the kids up boys vs. girls and started the food fight. We began with the water balloons to make sure the flour, ramen and color powder would stick. The ramen was the students’ favorite and was used because it is biodegradable and does not hurt the kids’ eyes,” Self said.  

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A group photo was taken to commemorate the fun and mess before the Fairmount Township Fire Department showed up to help spray the remnants of the food fight off of everyone. FTFD has been helping with this event for the past several years. Afterwards, volunteers cleaned up trash and other debris.  

“This is always an event that kids love each year. The laughter and squeals of joy are so fun for all of the volunteers to witness,” said Self.