We hosted our first Halloween party for the girls of Girl Scout troop 1293 here in Oldbridge. The girls wanted to go for a ride in our wagon, pulled by our lawn tractor. Our oldest son and his friend next door hid behind trees and jumped out to scare them. The girls had a great time and started talking about how much fun it was. The idea was planted...
We raked a short path through the woods and strung up some orange lights. We hung a few decorations and a couple of the girls hid in the woods dressed up to scare the others. It was a hit with the girls and their parents.
The path got longer this year... Added more displays and decorations. It took a couple of weekends to set up with the help of our local Boy Scout Troop 67 and our ever faithful, hard working girls. We decided to collect donations for the Oldbridge food bank as an admission fee. We ran the woods for 2 nights. The girls also had their first bake sale this year. People driving by stopped and went on the walk.
The local farm that had been hosting "scarecrow building" for the Girl Scouts of Delaware Raritan decided to no longer host the event. The girls all looked forward to this event so we decided to host it in our yard. We built the frames for the scarecrows, got the straw for stuffing and bought a couple of hundred pumpkins for the girls. We had about 15 troops come to the house to build scarecrows. We decided that the scarecrows would be a wonderful addition to the walk so we bought lights for them all, ran a gazillion extension cords, and plugged them in! It was great that everyone got to see the creative work the girls put into the scarecrows. Of course we added more displays to the woods. Because the woods were getting more popular and by request of many, we ran the woods for 3 nights. After the haunted woods event was over we thought it would be neat to put some of the scarecrows on a truck and take them in the Tom's River annual Halloween parade. I work for a transporter that generously donated the use of flatbed tow truck, so we loaded up. We had a great time in the parade. We didn't even know that the floats were judged so you can imagine our surprise when we were awarded 1st place in our division!
Scarecrow building has grown to over 20 troops this year. We built some halloween games for the girls to play. Our troop 1293 girls ran the games and awarded prizes for all who played. The woods now have grown quite bit and we are seeing people come back from previous years. We spent several weekends and a few days off building, decorating and wiring. The girls are getting really good at scaring people... They get me at times too! The feedback we got was wonderful and the donations to the food bank were substantial... and all this despite the not so good weather we had for the event.
We had a great time this year and it was awesome having the New Jersey Devil's mascot visit us! The pirate ship was a huge hit with with our visitors and the rest of the woods seemed to get most people a bit on edge. The "madman" with the chainsaw managed to shake up a few folks as well. The girls have gotten very good at scaring and even terrifying some people; so good that next year we have decided to add some time at the beginning for our younger friends to walk through without the live action... Scarecrow building went well and the new mini golf course was fun for everyone.
Wow! Our busiest year ever! Despite the terrible weather the second Friday, we had a huge turnout overall. We added Sunday night at the last minute and still had a good amount of people come out. Clowntown was a bit frightening to many and the hallway (maze) is growing a bit each year.... (a note to those who weren't brave enough to go through and snuck around: next year you won't get around this one.... hahahah!). The twilight walk went well and we may expand that a bit next year. We are also thinking about adding Sundays as well since the turnouts seem to be growing and growing. We collected a large amount of food for the foodbank and will soon be sorting it... Thanks to all for coming out! See ya next year...
Again more additions to the woods and more people coming out. We built a haunted, horse drawn hearse as our main addition. The food bank has been very appreciative of the donations we are able to collect.
Another pirate ship has been added to the woods!. We also extended the path in the upper woods, making clowntown a bit bigger. We also added a Michael Myers character that was a huge hit.
The woods has grown larger than any of us imagined! We had about 1500 people walk through this year! The weather was absolutely perfect this year. Some of our additions this year were the Chop Shop, another extension to the maze and yet another extension to the path. We had visitors from Massachusetts, England and Hungary this year.
Our additions to Clowntown (including our "clown car") were a big hit. For the first time in our history, we were snowed out one night. After spending the day shoveling the path and plowing, we managed to open the next night and people came to brave the cold and the mud. Thanks to all that volunteered and to all that visited us this year. We are already plotting more devious misadventures for you next year... .
Thanks to the generous donations and all who came out despite having Superstorm Sandy bearing down on us. We had to close the last night so we could get ready for the storm ourselves. We were able to deliver food to the Ocean County Food Bank, Keansburg as well as the Old Bridge Food Bank. It was sorely needed this year, thanks again to all.
Fortunately, we were spared major damage from Sandy. The woods did have several trees down and props damaged though so most of our summer was spent repairing the damages and clearing the path. We were able to open and had a wonderful year again.
This year we added a new section. The trail gets longer and longer each year... For the first time we had a live band play! The "Mildly Medicated" from The School of Rock in Monmouth played on the first Saturday. They were awesome and we hope to see them again. Sunday night was an instumental band from School of Rock and they were fantastic as well. Thanks to all of our returning actors and welcome to our new people. The mayor of Oldbridge came through the woods this year! The weather was perfect and we had a tremendous turnout. More diabolical plans for next year are already in the works.
Hope to see you in the woods....!