The Blanket Toss
By Sherry Rasmussen
About a week after I started working at Rossbrook House (2016), I looked out of my office window and watched individual children being thrown in the air from what looked like a yellow tarp. What I learned is this is an annual tradition. The Winter Games at Rossbrook House include a blanket toss. Each child receives 4 points for their first blanket toss. Points are tallied for medals and other prizes at the end of the week-long games. The kids line up for their turn to be tossed in the air by the Rossbrook House team of youth workers, junior staff and supervisors.
It was truly delightful to watch from afar. Being so new, I didn’t think to go outside and join in. The next year, I was outside with them. With the new camera we had purchased for documenting events, I felt that I had a role. By now I’d been there long enough for several children to know my name. So I felt a little more like I belonged. I stood on the hill with the kids who had completed their turn and the few who were happy to watch but not wanting to try it.
A few kids helped me to take pictures. I have a hard time saying no to them. And it gave me a chance to put my “clicking” hand back into my mitten to warm up. It was fun just being with them on that hill.
“One, two, three!” the staff shouts in unison. And on three, the tarp is pulled taught, lifting the child into the air! Some ask to not be tossed too high. Others are willing and ready to soar! While a few even attempt acrobatic looking poses. It’s serious fun.
It’s hard to tell who enjoys this more; the kids lining up for their second turn… or the staff!
You can’t help but laugh and cheer! And when the kids and staff decide it’s your turn and start chanting your name… Well, let’s just say, it’s hard to say no to that, too.