Hey all, first time poster, long time reader, etc. etc. I've got what might be an unusual question, as one might guess based on the title. But I've been asked to be the best man in my best friend's wedding this summer and I'm working on planning out the bachelor party. I've arranged to rent a cabin from some family friends in the Bend, Oregon area for a weekend and all the typical stuff will apply: grill up some steaks, do some target shooting, smoke some cigars, and all that good stuff, should be a fun time.

Here's the thing, though: my friend and I have grown up as what you might call "nerds". We like video games, fantasy novels, and pen-and-paper roleplaying games. We've spent a lot of time going on grand adventures to save the world, rescue the princess, and all that good stuff. Now that my buddy's entering the next stage of his life and has found himself his own princess, if you will, I thought it'd be cool to give him a real adventure, too.

Sure, marriage is an adventure in its own right, but I'm talking Tolkein-esque quest stuff here: something to get him out there, Frodo Baggins style and go on some big journey. Bend is a pretty great scenic area with a lot of trails, caves, and rivers; perfect for your classic frontier adventure. Right now I've got a rough plan to give him a GPS, a series of coordinates, and drop him off somewhere with his groomsmen (his Fellowship of the Ring... yeah, I went there) and have some of the other guests set up various challenges at each of the coordinates that he has to accomplish. Ergo, he ventures across a river to point A where he has to complete a target shooting challenge, because every man needs to know how to defend his family. He explores a cave at point B and has to face off against the crazy old hermit, who challenges him on biblical trivia pertaining to married life (groom is a bible college graduate and the son of our home church pastor).

So what I'm asking is if anybody has any more ideas for challenges or adventures; stuff every man should know or master before marriage, stuff that men should just know how to do in general, or something that you've seen in your favorite adventure movie that you just think would be really cool to do (within reason; I'd rather not evoke the wrath of his fiance for breaking his arms or something). 

Thanks in advance, guys, looking to see what we can come up with.

EDIT: Also, because I don't want to start up another topic and start spamming these boards too much for one thing, I'm also having some trouble getting all the attendees schedules' to line up well. Should I try to downgrade to a simple "dinner at a steakhouse" kind of thing to try and make it all work better or should I talk to the groom and see if he's okay with one or two guys not making it? (For the record, the groom knows about the trip, he just doesn't know about this "quest" thing yet.) Suggestions?

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While I'm confused as to what that could possibly mean, I am also terrified. So I'll just leave it be, I think.

Jesus saves.

(everybody else, roll for damage)

Yeah, but the bottomless wine refills thing might come in handy.

And the character sheet idea ain't bad. Though I can't think of any challenges of charisma that wouldn't end either in infidelity or a career in politics.

Yes, but unlike mages at least clerics can wear armor

I did a sweat lodge.

But anyway --

what I can think of each husband should know is relational (see Letters to Phillip) or boring and practical (life insurance, getting a joint checking account).

I don't know what every man shd know, but orienteering might be cool, esp. if you can get someone who can teach you. 

Chinese marriage customs involve some quizzing the groom, on things pertaining to the relationship, just for fun (the bridesmaids pretend to be reluctant to let the groom and his party come in).

We've got a few guys in the party that are big into orienteering, geo-caching, and that kind of thing, hence why I thought the "drop him into the wilderness" thing could be kind of fun.

And yeah, we'll have relational advice from some of the married guys later in the day during some drinks or something, and while I agree practical "boring" life skills are probably more important than learning how to punch out a bear, "The Tale of Sir Lancelot and his Tax Returns" isn't one that made it into the storybooks.

  First of all, let me congratulate you on an excellent plan for a bachelor party.  Your friends sound a lot like mine, and I think you'll have a blast. For my own bachelor party, my brother (the fighter) had a tomahawk throwing range set up, so there's always that. Something we planned, but wound up cancelling due to weather, was an Indiana Jones style rope swing into the lake. Perhaps, if you can safely do it, thus avoiding the wrath of the bride, you could have them cross one of the streams this way?

  Best of luck!

"I don't believe they exist..."

From one long-time reader, first-time poster to another – this one inspired me so much that I decided to sign up and speak to it. At the risk of having gotten way too excited about something that is, in the end, your project, here are some ideas for you to consider:

1)      Generally speaking, I wouldn’t exclude yourself from going on the trip (drop him off for orienteering). It will be fantastic fun for you to see him go through all this, especially after you’ve planned it all. Just make it a rule that you cannot help him, and he therefore should not ask for your help (The organization I’m with has a scavenger hunt for interns new to the city, and staff who drive with the carless interns are not allowed to help or give directions – it works well). Actually, you could make this rule for everyone. It would be fun for others to have a part in designing it or manning the stations. They just should not help if they are “in” on a particular part. I think it would also be fun to have the Fellowship grow along the way. Just because someone is manning a station doesn’t mean they can’t join the Fellowship and participate in the rest of its mission.

2)      I’ve always wanted to raft the Grand Canyon for my bachelor’s adventure (good luck, when reservations have to be made a year in advance). For that reason I suggest rafting or canoeing be part of the trip. If there’s any way that you can have the group move in a small flotilla of canoe(s) and kayaks that could possibly lend itself to a picture of 1 Peter 3.7. I’m not sure you could manage to get a size difference of vessels big enough to illustrate the gentleness that Peter was portraying, but if you could, and could add as well a task that involved a canoe (with him in it) needing to show such respect to a kayak for successful solution, that would be great.

3)      For one of the tasks, you might try writing a cryptic poem, in English. Similar to “speak friend and enter” on the West Door of Moria, or Galadriel’s message to  Aragorn “Dark is the path appointed to thee, the dead watch the road that leads to the sea”. Of course, the person who writes the poem should be present to give help as a last resort (contrary to what I said above). Interpretation can get tricky, and progress needs to be made.

4)      Ropes courses can be a good illustration of dependence on God. Once he’s strapped in, no matter how hard he tries, he can’t hit the ground. God is the one who is able to keep him from falling (Jude 1:24-25).

5)      Can you and the groomsmen buy him a sword to win, maybe at the last task? It would be a fantastic memento. I would guess he would brag on that sword, and the whole quest, for the rest of his life, whether it’s displayed on a wall or propped up in a corner. This would tie into Hebrews 4.12, what he will need to depend upon to keep his heart right in order to serve his wife well. John Eldredge writes about someone (him?) giving a son a sword at a coming of age ritual inscribed “Dangerous for Good”. There’s a lot to play with there.

6)      Could you have him sacrifice something, give it up, leave it behind? Perhaps link it to Hebrews 12.1. We so often don’t think of throwing things away (which would make it tricky as a task), but we need to be able to do so. Probably early on is best. I don’t know how to make it reasonable, or significant enough that the “sacrifice” is felt over time, but it is after all a game, so I guess you can make whatever rules you like. It could be as simple as his shirt – just have him wear an old one that he doesn't have to see ever again.

7)      You could make every part illustrate a Scripture, it would certainly be memorable. But I think in pictures very easily, and I would find that to be a daunting task. Still, with a few helper-thinkers and diligence now, maybe… It’s yours to decide if you want to take that on.

I think you’ve got a great idea – the bachelor party to end all bachelor parties, however you design it and whatever suggestions you use.

Love your brother, send him off well.

Man, that's some good stuff. I love the sword idea, though obviously its longevity is kinda dependent on whether his wife lets him keep it up on the wall or not.

I was already thinking along the scriptural applicability thing, so that's cool. There's a ton of stuff you can draw from things like Paul's journeys and all that. Nice ideas, I'll almost definitely use some of these.

Yeah, I'm obviously a man without kids. No sword you could buy would be sharp, but a sword casually propped in a corner would still be heavy enough to cause damage to wandering, curious youngsters.

Take whatever you like,  there's lots of good ideas here. I'm finding myself excited about a fire swamp, and fighting any OUS (in case you can't find a large rat costume). Tweak it all -- it's your party and your friendship, it needs to reek of you.

Please, please -- when it's done, write back and tell us what you did, and how he liked it. I hope in the future to be in a position to know a few best men, and I would love to pass along ideas as well as proven activities for how to make a memorable send off for the grooms they serve.

Our church actually has an assortment of gorilla costumes (for young youth group stuff) that we could probably use for OUS purposes. Fire swamp... is less manageable, but Princess Bride references go over exceedingly well with our group of friends so we'll see what we can do.

And yeah, if we can get this all to follow through nicely then rest assured I'll put up some record of it. Most of us have a history in video production/editing so we might just record the whole thing just for the heck of it. I look for basically any excuse to layer "Concerning Hobbits" over something already, anyway.

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