JCI Kootenay at BC/Yukon Regionals 2021

Today the JCI BC/Yukon Regionals 2021 kicked off via Zoom where a great bunch of people from every Chapter in the region came together in our annual tradition and Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Kootenay, and Edmonton were all in attendance. This year Regionals is hosted by JCI Vernon and the challenging work the Chapter put into the event has been ever evident. They have put together a slick Zoom conference and have made every attendee feel like they are a part of a larger event and not just at home in front of a screen.

My Regionals kicked off a couple of weeks ago when an inauspicious brown box was sitting inside of my door one day after work. I cut open the box and I am greeted with the sight of some very nicely appointed Regionals Gift bags and underneath were the Olympic themed instructions for the Giessenbier Cup. The Giessenbier Cup is part of Regionals annually and this year JCI Vernon choose the Olympic Games as the theme for it.

Inside were eleven envelopes with clues the participant could use to choose which game they would play. Clues such as “For the member with an unbound imagination” or “For the member with a very understanding partner” gave little to go on what the event would be. The event I chose turned out to be Tea Tossing. Inside the envelope was the “Official Tea Bag” of which you had to toss the tea bag into a mug of your choice from the furthest distance and for it to be filmed in an unbroken video. Must make sure none of us were going to break the rules with fancy video editing or something, I guess.

Now I am a Nerd and wear that badge proudly but with that means I take instructions like this quite literally. My first idea was to go climb on the roof the neighboring school and drop the official tea bag (moistened) from the roof into a mug. Then I thought whoa that sounds like bending the rules a little too much because a) I wouldn’t be tossing the tea bag and the event is clearly called “Tea Tossing” and 2) making the tea bag wet feels like cheating. So, I take the Olympic theme idea, run with that, and create a Tea Tossing course in my back yard, which consisted of a TV Table, my old Scout’s Canada coffee mug, and some green spray paint accurately measured out in 1.5m increments out to 6m away from the table. I was clearly ambitious in my ability to compete in this event.

Then I fire up the old camera phone, use my DJ voice to introduce myself, the Chapter and the event and proceed to spend the next quarter of an hour frustrating myself as I try and toss a dry tea bag from 3m away into a coffee mug. I tried the frisbee toss, I tried the overhand toss and so many different little things to try and get this angry little tea bag into its new home. So many times, I came close but finally it happened. I was elated, for fifteen minutes I had been trying and worried about how long of a video the judges would have to watch, and I finally got the bag in the cup. But then I got cocky, I had “figured out” the right tossing method so let’s try from 4.5m and keep going.

I should have quit while I was ahead. The bag did not want to go anywhere near the mug. They met, they didn’t like each other, and they weren’t going to go for a second date, much to my chagrin.  Then after another ten minutes or so of trying, I quit. It wasn’t going in; the video was crazy long and people I quite like would have to watch it (sorry Senator Dan). So, I called it and sent the video in.

Fast forward to today, big deadline at work meant I was working overtime on a Friday. Which means I couldn’t head home to prepare for the live events which were so masterfully crafted for us. Which means Kootenay’s only participant didn’t have his gear. So, I tuned in from my office and watched the other Chapters take part in the games and it was highly entertaining.

For the Member who stays calm under pressure their event was the Balloon Cup. Six cups were to be placed in front of you in any arrangement you so that each cup is standing on its own. Without the use of your hands, use the provided balloon to stack the cups. Fastest wins. And boy was Michael from Vernon fast. Makes me think the JCI Vernon had a secret training facility and a host of trainers and coaches to help them gain an edge but that’s just my imagination…maybe.

All the events were great fun to watch, the Iron Man, where the participants had to stack as many nuts as high as possible in 60 seconds. The Noodle Doodle where the participants were shown Head, the JCI Vernon mascot, and had to draw him on a piece of paper on top of their heads. There were a lot of eggplant emoji looking drawings, but I’ll dispense with the phallus jokes, but Head does kind of look like a… with a hat on.

Card Ninja, where you had to throw the provided playing cards, so they stick into a potato. Trevor from Kelowna had the weirdest looking potato if a potato was red and had layers like an onion

which he promptly took a large bit from. Was a good trick because he won with over thirty cards in the “potato” though I must give props to Shay from Penticton, she was able to lodge four cards into her potato which makes me hope she never takes up a career as a Ninja or we’re all in trouble.

Our Greek God attired judges were very fair in their assessments and have more points to hand out over the weekend. We shall see who comes out victorious tomorrow. Hope that alleged secret training facility doesn’t come back to hurt the rest of us. See you all on Day 2 for some great training and more time spent with some of the best people in the world. And may the odds be ever in your favor.



Marcus Brown

JCI Kootenay 2021 Chapter President