Teen Program: Doctor Who Extravaganza

The 4-1-1:

When: July 19th, 4:00 – 8:00pm
Resources: Sonic Screwdrivers, Duct Tape Bowties, & Cut-out Masks
How many teens: 41 teens + 5 adults
Cost/Supplies: approx $115 (not including the games, which will be put into our game collection)

The run-down:

I had the room divided into 6 tables; 1 for masks, 2 for sonic screwdrivers, 1 for bow ties, and 2 for games. I also had tardis photobooth set up w/an iPad that the teens could use throughout the program. The booth was built by one of my lovely co-workers out of pvc pipe and canvas.

As the teens arrived, we checked them in and gave them a ticket for door prizes later. I explained what they could all do and to grabs some goodies from the back. I let the teens decide where they wanted to start, although, I did encourage mingling as more and more teens arrived. I also set up the laptop & projector, to show some trailers and snippets.

About 90 minutes in, I ran a team Doctor Who jeopardy game. I had them split into teams of 5 and sit at the various tables. I didn’t force anyone to play, but we had 30 of the teens play. I would read out the question and the first person who stood up would be the one allowed to answer. If they answered wrong, I would let the next person answer as long as it wasn’t someone on the same team. I did tell them they had to wait for the entire question to be read before standing up. This just allowed me to catch who the first person actually was. If I saw them stand before I was finished they were disqualified/I wouldn’t call on them. I did give the winning team prizes; each of them got a pair of cool socks with Doctor Who designs.

Next, we had our costume contest/parade. I had put on our fliers that there would be prizes for best costume, but honestly I was afraid none of them would. However, I should know better than to doubt my Whovians! I would say I had at least 20-30 of them come in costume! I had them all pose for pictures and then I let my co-worker decide on the winner. She easily picked the Dalek costume that one of teens had made with their dad. It was completely made out of wood, had a voice changer, and could be rolled around. (Picture in the slideshow below.) While part of me feels like it was a *tiny* bit unfair that he won, it was also too awesome not to win! I really wish I could have given them all prizes. There were *so* many great costumes.

The rest of the event, I let the teens finish up their projects, play games, or just generally sit around and talk. Many of them by now had formed new friendships and were discussing their favorite Who-moments. My laptop had a glitch with sound, which meant showing more clips was out. However, I don’t think most of them even noticed. They were content to just talk or mess around. At the end of the night, I did door prizes and gave away the rest of the Doctor Who merchandise that I had bought. I let the teens head out after that since parents were already arriving to pick them up. (It was an after hours event so parents couldn’t get back into the building!) All in all, it was a great event!

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • I probably should have made this event 2-3 hours instead of 4 hours. It was a bit of a stretch, but the teens thankfully still had fun.

  • Should I do another costume contest, I will have prizes for first, second, and third place. I truly didn’t think so many would come in costume and wish I had planned better for it. Although, I’m not sure who would have won next because so many were amazing. (I won’t be posting the costume pics here since they’re minors. However, if you email me/talk to me privately I will show you some of them.)

  • While I’m also talking about how amazing they are, were playing Jeopardy and in the middle of a question all my “doctors” jump out of their seat and start pointing their sonic screwdrivers at something. I’m like what the heck?! I look over and see our Dalek cosplayer coming in. (He was late because his costume was 40 lbs and could only be brought over in a truck flatbed!) It was incredibly cute and geeky and one of the main reasons I love working with teens.

  • Next time, I will have a backup laptop! Or at least make sure all the Windows Updates are completed before the program. When I went to reboot it to get sound back, it decided it wanted to take almost an hour to do all the updates. Oy vey!

  • I wish I would have started with ice breakers. You know the type where you ask who their favorite doctor, companion, etc is and they stand with people who think the same. It would have gotten them talking faster.

  • Several of the teens who came called this a “huge success”. In fact, they want to do more Who things in the future. Once the new episodes start, I will most likely start a monthly Whovian club that meets for an hour. I would do one this fall, but I worry that they may run out of things to talk about. At least with new episodes, they’ll have plenty of content to ramble on and on about with each other.

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