For my senior project I served as the Interim Reindeer Games Chair for the Georgia Festival of Trees. The goal for my project is to focus on the Reindeer Games, an area in the festival that caters to children of all ages. All festival guests are welcome to come into Reindeer Games and enjoy the games and crafts. The games include a ring toss, bowling, ice fishing, ball toss, and Plinko. The crafts include making your own wrapping paper, creating snowflakes with pipe cleaners and beads, building an air cannon and shooting Christmas decorations onto a tree, and face painting. Other activities are phone booths where children can talk to an elf at the North Pole, a Letter Writing station to post a letter to Santa, and a sand pile to play in so mom and dad can rest their feet for a bit. My responsibilities included assisting the festival director with the layout and design of the Reindeer Games area, including the craft and game areas, Elfphone booth area, Santa Letter Writing Station and Post Office, Sandpile, and ticket booth. I developed a plan for each game and craft, including a supply list to accommodate up to 1,800 children engaging in each activity each day, for four consecutive days.
Additionally, I developed a list of prize options, determine the number needed, and provide a list with estimated prices. With the available data I created a budget for the entire area that will include all the supplies for the various built items, game/craft supplies, and prizes needed for 8,000+ children during the festival. I accounted for adjustments to the budget for donated items from local sponsors. I worked with the Reindeer Games committee to complete these tasks.
I conducted a monthly meeting with all committee members to have allow them to know what was going on, receive feedback from them, and figure out assign assignments. I followed-up with individuals as necessary to give more instructions, updates, etc. I reported to the CEO, Angie Ulibarri, and Barb Smith, Event Chairman, weekly with progress reports. All activities are done under the guidance of the festival of trees executive director. I was able to grow my professional skills working with a committee, reporting all my efforts and helping with the planning.
Over the course of this semester, I have been able to help construct a floor plan, for the children’s game area for the event. It took time, effort, and help from others to construct each stage of the floor plan.
Rough Draft #1:
This was the first rough draft of the floor plan. It was a simple sketch and the feedback I took from Angie and Miss Barb. I really had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun to brainstorm ideas and get some real-life experience.
Rough Draft #2:
The second rough draft of the floor plans was a more of a technical one. I wanted to put it on the computer. I had help with this floor plan, I’m not an architect major, and I was able to plug in the measurements.
Rough Draft #3:
The third-floor plan was more about visually seeing a plan. I ran to Hobby Lobby one night and grabbed a poster board and some graph paper. I was able to use the graph paper, each square representing a foot, to make a floor plan. It was a step into the right direction, and I had multiple Zoom calls with Angie and Miss Barb about the floor plan. What I learned from this one is labeling would’ve helped and
Rough Draft #4:
We all came together to collaborate on. We gave our input and also listened to feedback. That’s what I loved about this whole process and working with these women, was being able to work together. It was a really good environment to work in, and we all had one common goal.
With the budget I did a lot of research and looking into different options. I tried to think what we could buy in bulk and went to sites like AliExpress and Alibaba. I also took into consideration of the structure of each game. When I was done, I was able to produce an estimated budget.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to work with the Georgia Festival of Trees. I was able to keep all my hours on an excel spread sheet and that helped a lot.
Due to the event not taking place until November these plans won’t take place until later. However, they will be able to use the plans when the time comes to carry out the event. It was an interesting process in regard to planning for an event that wasn’t taking place until later.
One of the biggest obstacles that I had was I’ve never been in charge of something this big by myself. I had to work with a style guide and construct a floor plan. Being able to work with a style guide was no restricting yet eye opening. Even when I wanted to make a simple power point, for the committee meeting, I had to stay true to the style guide. Constructing the floor plan was not my cup of tea however, I learned a lot. There were multiple rough drafts, lots of input from not just me and changes made along the way. However, it made me grow and taught me that I can create a floor plan, with help.
Another challenge that I came across was being “the boss” of the Reindeer Games. It was intimidating when we had our committee meeting because I was the youngest yet, I was the one leading out the meeting. I put myself in the committee’s shoes while preparing the presentation and I made it simple as possible. I was open to questions and also feedback of what we could do to make something better. It was a role that was terrifying but in the end I realized I can do it if asked in the future.
Working with Barb Smith, Event Chairman, and Angie Ulibarri, CEO, I was able to be a part of something bigger. That’s what I learned the most from this project was being a part of something bigger. Planning for 1,800 kids to come to the event each day, holding meetings and asking questions along the way I learned real life experience. I am grateful for this opportunity and the people I met along the way. I plan to continue to help with the Georgia Festival of Trees after I graduate.