By Pfc. Jamal WalkerMay 28, 2009
RED CLOUD GARRISON - Bringing so much success last year, Better Opportunities for Single and Unaccompanied Soldiers hosted the second annual "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader"competition at USAG-RC Mitchell's Club May 4.
The event included a buffet dinner and a raffle to win either $500 in cash or MP3 and MP4 players.
"It was a very surreal experience for me," said Francis Murrell, International Christian School chaplain who was shocked at being selected as one of the contestants. "I have always enjoyed watching the show, and that is what I was expecting tonight, to watch others participate."
The game featured the same rules as those established in the popular TV game.
At the beginning of each contest, Marshall Downs, host of the contest, would draw a ticket from a bowl containing names of those wanting to participate, and call the number of the next contestant.
The contestant would pick one of five students, known as a classmate, to help them through the game. Each classmate stayed with the contestant for only two questions before leaving the contestant to pick another classmate.
Questions each contestant and classmate had to answer in secret were selected from topics: first grade spelling, fifth grade mathematics, third grade life science, and others.
Despite the age level, each contestant was allowed three life lines, each of which could only be used once. The contestant could choose to peek, copy, or be saved after reading the question.
In the event the contestant decided to peek, the designated classmate was given time to pick an answer for the given question, show their answer to the contestant, leave the contestant to decide whether they would like to go with the classmates answer, or make another selection.
If the contestant decided to copy an answer, he automatically used the answer the classmate chose.
A save is given when a contestant chooses their first wrong answer. If the classmate has written the correct answer, he saves the contestant. However, a wrong answer by both the classmate and the contestant ends the game.
Once all three cheats have been used, the contestant is left alone with no classmates to help.
"We had to take a study and fill out paperwork and take a test to see who would be selected," said Kyla Shamblin, a fifth-grader selected as a classmate. "The questions on the test were a lot harder than the ones asked tonight, but after we were selected, we were given a study guide on what would be covered in the event."
"It was fun for me because I got to see the Soldiers have fun, laugh, and have a good time," Shamblin added. "I hope all Soldiers stay safe, especially my uncle who is in the Army."
Most of the fifth-graders enjoyed watching all the contestants be given a "biggest loser" medal and the microphone to say their name, and admit they are not smarter than a fifth-grader, but the entire dining room came to life with applause and laughter when Command Sgt. Maj. Earlene Lavender, USAG-RC Command Sgt. Maj., and one of the contestants, was handed a medal and the microphone to say "I may be the garrison Command Sgt. Maj., but I am not smarter than a fifth-grader."
I am glad the event caught the attention of the community within Uijeongbu and the garrison, said Spc. Darren Stanhope, USAG-RC BOSS president. I want more people to learn about BOSS and I hope Soldiers in attendance today take what they saw here and tell others about our BOSS program in Warrior Country.