I spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time in my childhood poring over the Guinness Book of World Records. I remember spending a fair bit of time on the physical entries – world’s tallest man, most toes, that kind of thing. And then I also remember a number of records related to eating – most pies in an hour, most automotive parts consumed. The whole thing just begged the imagination.
So I was pretty psyched to travel this week to Phoenix, Arizona where the Playworks crew worked with the Super Bowl Host Committee, United Healthcare, and a whole bunch of Phoenix kids (1,136 to be precise) to set the new world record for the biggest game of Red Light, Green Light.
Guinness sent an official world record adjudicator, Philip Robertson, to oversee the count. I loved him from the moment I saw him – totally decked out in a very English-looking blazer with the Guinness crest embroidered on it – and he was using a totally old-school clicker to count the students as they entered the playing area.
Eleven year old Miguel Morales from Papago Elementary was first the runner to the red light green light caller and the nominal winner of the event, but in true Playworks spirit, everyone who was a part felt like a winner. I couldn’t help but feel that the joy derived from a setting a big group world record was a lot like the joy our staff create every day out at recess – a little bit throwback, but entirely connected.