It’s funny, but the kids really look forward to vacation from school. But coop up a bunch of Cub Scouts indoors for a couple of weeks, and they’re itching to get out and have some real fun outdoors! To celebrate our last day of vacation, our den hosted a big Broomball match today!

Broomball is pretty simple. It is kind of a cross between ice hockey – its played on ice and uses sticks, and soccer – you move a ball towards a goal. Unlike hockey the players wear boots instead of skates, and unlike soccer they use something that looks a bit like a broomstick with all of the bristles cut off to move the ball around.

There are several requirements that ask Cubs to play a game that originated in another country, so Broomball is a fun way to fill that requirement. When I went to look up the history and rules of Broomball, I got a great kick out of the history section provided by Wikipedia, which includes:

There is no known fully accurate history of broomball. The general consensus is that modern broomball originated in Canada. Some think it came about by trying to play ice hockey without ice skates. However, recent research indicates that a sport similar to broomball, known as knattleikr, was played in Iceland in the 10th century. The sport was almost considered warfare, with the occasional death not uncommon, and games could involve whole villages and lasted up to 14 days. Writer Hord Grimkellson reported that, in a game between Strand and Botn, that “before dusk, six of the Strand players lay dead, though none on the Botn side.”

It involves a lot of running, falling, laughing and even a fair bit of pain! We suffered several minor injuries, but no major ones – the kind of stuff great childhood memories are made of! And no, no deaths were recorded today that I am aware of anyways!

I did spend several hours with my snow blower clearing off a huge rink in a sheltered and shallow bay of the Fox River, and prepping the ice. But the equipment was borrowed from the high school Phy Ed department, and with no ER visits it made for a very inexpensive afternoon of fun.

Temperatures hovered around a balmy 15 degrees F. Under bright sunny skies, 15 Cubs from 3 different Waterford area Packs and 9 siblings, battled for almost 2 hours – taking a half time break for hot coca and popcorn. Moms and Dads stood by laughing as the kids had a great time. Properly dressed, I don’t think anyone even complained about the cold! (But there were some mighty red cheeks out there!) As for the kids – they asked “can we do this again NEXT week?!”