I am a HUGE Survivor fan so when a friend (Sara) invited me up to her cabin to have a survivor weekend I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Her family was also really into Survivor and believe me they went ALL OUT for this weekend. She told me that her parents set up actual homemade games inspired by the show with tribes, immunity idols, eliminations and all.
I drove up with Sara and a few other friends. Let me tell you, her lovely parents spent so much time and energy into making this weekend as authentic as possible for us – her mom even carved the immunity idol herself – making a bear out of a log with a CHAINSAW!! It was awesome! Oh and Sara made fake immunity idols for us before we got up there – we never did get to play them – LOL!
We met up at her family’s cabin – there were 14 total players – her mom filmed the whole thing and her dad played the part of Jeff Probst. It was great because some of us knew each other, but only like 1 or 2 people playing knew EVERYONE there so it really was meeting a bunch of strangers at a place we had never been before.
The first day “Jeff Probst” explained that there were 2 hidden individual immunity idol necklaces in the woods, at his signal we had to race to find them. The two people who found them ended up being the team captains and then we schoolhouse picked the rest of the “tribes.” I ended up on an awesome tribe where I knew 3 other players – can we say easy alliance?? Sara ended up on the other tribe. Once the tribes were picked, they handed out real Survivor Buffs her mom ordered online – they graciously rigged it so my team could be the purple tribe as purple is my favorite color. (PS I still use that Buff to this day while camping)
After the tribes were formed we set out right away into challenges. Our team DOMINATED!! 🙂
Some of the challenges were things like trying to get our entire tribe across the stream using boards over 2x4s (if you fell in you had to start over), taking a raft into their pond to look for wooden tiles with our tribe color on them and then once back at shore spell out the mystery phrase, a challenge to put a puzzle together, 3 teammates walking on beams with rope attached like giant skis from point A to point B, etc.
There was even a shooting challenge where we had to shoot clay disks in the yard with the other players initials on them- whoever was the last player with a clay disk left was the winner of that challenge – I had never held a gun before in my life. I was incredibly nervous and there is even a video of me saying “I’ll never hit that” and then BLAM – I made an excellent shot! I was completely shocked and actually did really well in that challenge!
I somehow managed to come in 2nd place in the shooting challenge–how is that possible for someone who NEVER shot a gun?!?! Maybe I’m related to Annie Oakley?? 🙂
At tribal council when a team lost a challenge – there was at a fire pit with logs to sit on, we got tiki torches, there was discussions about the game play, and the dreaded voting out a person and the snuffing of the torch. I am telling you this was as close to the real show as you can get! It was amazing! 🙂
Things got incredibly awkward when we would vote someone out or blindside someone. Unlike the show, they were not sent home (there was no Ponderosa) so they were free to stay and watch the game – and heckle their former team members! It also felt really uncomfortable when we would break for meals as we all ate together – you could cut the tension with a knife! I had all the real feelings of being on the show – excitement, nervousness, fear, and you really do feel bad for voting someone out, it was hard to look them in the eye afterwards!!
At a certain point in the game we even had a merge – then we were done with the team challenges and it was all about individual immunity!
I surprised myself and did REALLY well – made it to top 5. The last challenge I was in was to stand on a log on one foot and balance as long as you could. It was 3 guys, another girl Tara and myself left. The guys dropped out pretty quickly – then it was down to Tara and I – dun dun DUNNNNN!!! We lasted over 16 minutes!! I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had to drop out. I thought I was ok, because of the final 5, 4 were from the purple tribe so we were all gonna vote out the last orange player right? WRONG!!! Little did I know one guy flipped on the alliance and he went with the orange player – their new plan was to vote whichever girl didn’t win immunity out – which was me. BUMMER!! The votes somehow got split 2 for me, 2 for the guy who flipped and 1 for the remaining orange player. Since it was a tie between me and the guy who flipped, we had to go to a tie breaker challenge, which I lost. Now I was part of the jury.
It was raining like crazy during this! 🙂
But I was sort of glad when I saw what was next – the eating gross things challenge – I would never have been able to eat pickled pigs feet, sardines and scrapple. YUCK!
The final tribal council was intense – the 3 guys pleaded their case and we all got to ask them questions about their gameplay. Then the jury (the players who were voted off) voted for the winner. It ended up being the only orange tribe member still left in the game.
This was one of the most fun weekends I have EVER had in my life! Here are a few more pics from the awesome weekend! Even if I never get a chance to be on the real Survivor, I got to play Survivor – Lycoming County! 🙂