Double, Double, LEAP & Trouble: Scare on the Square

By Christina Perez

Ring after ring flew from their hands, aimed at the point of a witch’s hat. Three at the floor, one hitting the mark, and one hitting a human hotdog. But alas, at least one hat had been hooped around by the ring and was merit for a prize of chalk or bubbles. Why so much scary, carnival fun at the square? Why, it was the annual Huntsville Scare on the Square.

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

Last Saturday the LEAP Center hosted a booth at Scare on the Square. Scare on the Square is an annual Halloween event sponsored by The Huntsville Main Street Program. About 40 different businesses, schools, and local organizations host games and activities for community children. Scare on the Square is sponsored by local businesses and it is a safe atmosphere for families to enjoy themselves.

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

If you are creative and wear a costume it will spare you from having to pay the entrance fee of one dollar. Embracing this costume-wearing practice, the LEAP students arrived in a variety of costumes themselves from Minnie Mouse to Charlie Chaplin.

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

With weeks of anticipation prior to Scare on the Square, the LEAP center engineering team (aka a few of the LEAPsters) designed a game built to increase levels of happiness to the maximum. In the end, we created the “Witch’s Hat Ring Toss.” Similar to a bean bag toss, it required the competitor to loop hat dressed cones with a pool ring. Let’s just say that hand-eye coordination was important in order to successfully master this enchanted game.

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With smiling faces, all the children (and even some LEAPsters) patiently waited in line to play, ready to ring one or two witch hats.

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

We had a few future athletes who knew at exactly what angle to throw the rings. Yet even more children measured wind speed, warmed up their best throwing arm, made their marks, and walked right up to the cones to place the ring into the hat.

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

In between handing out rings and giving out candy, we amused ourselves by noticing the creative Spidermen, Pikachus, Elsas, Super Girls (we even had our own superwoman!), as well as some actually frightening costumes.

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

But even more rewarding was the look on their faces when they looped a hat (without cheating).

With the LEAP center’s 1800 pieces of candy gone, we packed our tent and witchy game satisfied with the 400 plus jolly children that had visited us. We are grateful for the sponsors and coordinators of these events that allow us to interact with the community!

Scare on the Square, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU, Huntsville Main Street

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to news stories, having contributed more than 50 pieces in the past year. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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