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Eagle Scout completes ‘Gaga’ ball pit

Eagle Scout completes ‘Gaga’ ball pit
The kids run into a pit and grab the ball and with a few laughs, gaga ball begins.
Chaparral Elementary School installed a Gaga Ball Pit on the playground just a month into the school year.

“I like the Gaga pit because it is something people enjoy,” fourth grader Malcolm Harrison said.

Principal Kristine Hanson said the PTO discussed what improvements needed to be made to the playground at Chaparral. The sixth-grade students attended a science camp in Prescott Pines last spring and one of the things they enjoy doing there is play Gaga Ball, a circular-like enclosure where the game is played.

The PTO raised approximately $20,000 from the booster fundraiser last spring. Part of the funds were used for  the Gaga Ball pit.

Former Chaparral student Rex Maxwell reached out to the school in search of an Eagle Scout project and Hanson told him about the Gaga Pit. Maxwell decided to take on the project.  

Maxwell, a few Scouts and his father purchased the supplies and lumber to build the pit. It took about six hours to build and many of the boys who helped Maxwell are former Chaparral students.

“I chose to do a project for Chaparral because it was my elementary school,” Maxwell said. “Being able to build a Gaga Ball pit was fun because I played it at science campy my sixth-grade year. It was a lot of hard work planning the Gaga Ball pit. but the end result was awesome.”

Gaga Ball is played with a soft foam ball and can be played by numerous players. The goal is to hit the opponents below the knees and to be the last player standing in the pit.

“The pit is used all the time,” Hanson said. “”It is used all of lunch recess and even before school.”

According to Hanson, the pit is large enough to fit an entire grade and even the teachers join in and play.

“The kids play really well with each other and there have been less behavior issues because they are occupied,” Hanson said.