Kid Stuff Recreation

Gaga for Gaga Ball: CF Park Gains New Pit for Game

new Gaga Ball pit in Marshall Park offers opportunities to play, thanks to a local Eagle Scout service project

Caitlin Boyle |

GAGA FOR GAGA BALL. Griffin Brandt, a Chippewa Falls aspiring Eagle Scout, completed the gaga ball pit, located in Marshall Park, as a part of his Eagle Scout service project. Photo courtesy of the Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation & Forestry Facebook page.
GAGA FOR GAGA BALL. Griffin Brandt, a Chippewa Falls aspiring Eagle Scout, completed the gaga ball pit, located in Marshall Park, as a part of his Eagle Scout service project. Photo courtesy of the Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation & Forestry Facebook page.

There’s a new game for children and adults to enjoy in Chippewa Falls, thanks to a local Boy Scout’s service project, and it’s called gaga ball. You heard that right.

Even though many locals may not have heard of it, the game has been around for quite some time. Gaga means “touch, touch” in Hebrew, as the game likely derived from Israel, and eventually made its way to other countries around the world, usually as a game played by children at summer camps.

It’s a really enjoyable game for both kids and adults.

Griffin Brandt

aspiring Eagle Scout

Brandt, a Chippewa Falls student, designed and created a new gaga ball pit in Marshall Park with the help of family and a few volunteers.
Brandt, a Chippewa Falls student, designed and created a new gaga ball pit in Marshall Park with the help of family and a few volunteers. Photo courtesy of the Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Facebook page.

And summer camp is exactly where Griffin Brandt, an aspiring Eagle Scout from Chippewa Falls, heard of and played gaga ball. Gaga ball combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, all with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee. Brandt says the games are intense and fun, and – after he learned of the game – he noticed another gaga ball pit at O’Neil Creek Campground in Chippewa Falls.

That was when Brandt knew he wanted to bring the game closer to home as a part of his Eagle Scout project, which is meant to impact a scout’s community. Griffin’s first step was to bring the idea to the Chippewa Falls Park Board, and they suggested the pit go in Marshall Park, across the street from Irvine Park. Griffin then went to work, which included seeing every single design and construction step through.

Gaga ball combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, all with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee.
Gaga ball combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, all with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee. Photo courtesy of the Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation & Forestry Facebook page

“I looked at designs and pictures online of other gaga (ball) pits,” Griffin says. “After coming up with a final design, I brought it to the park board representative, and we looked at the build area together.”

Griffin received funding for the project from his family, who wanted to help. After purchasing and prepping materials, Griffin and volunteers began to assemble the pit. Griffin says he spent around 26 hours total on the project, along with 5 hours to complete the pit. He hopes a lot of kids will get some fun out of the finished project.

“I think it’s a really enjoyable game for both kids and adults,” Brandt says, “and provides a better variety for things that kids can do at the park.”