CRESTVIEW — Archery, tomahawk throwing, blow darts, a kettle bell toss and a tug-of-war are on this weekend's agenda for Lifepoint Church men.
This Saturday, men are encouraged to leave their inhibitions behind and participate in the 4th Annual Barbarian Games, church deacon Michael Smith, the event organizer, said.
The outdoors event allows men to compete in games and enjoy fellowship, he said. Two popular activities are a tug-of-war and the caber toss, in which participants attempt to toss a large wooden log end over end.
Many participants wear kilts during the event.
"It's amazing how many of the guys will go out and get a kilt on their own," Smith said. Although attendees are encouraged to wear kilts, they can wear regular outdoor attire.
In addition to eating roasted-pig cooked over an open fire, men are encouraged to bring minimal camping equipment, when sleeping outdoors.
The activities will conclude with faith-based messages from Smith, the Rev. Mark English and guest speaker Kevin Mucher, a chaplain from the 6th U.S. Army Ranger Training Battalion on Eglin Air Force Base.
Attendees will meet at Lifepoint's parking lot early Saturday morning and return on Sunday morning. The outdoor event will take place at an undisclosed, in-county private property.
So, what's the purpose behind the games?
Well, the modern Christian man is very "tame" compared to biblical figures, Smith said.
"The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within," a book by Christian author Erwin Raphael McManus, inspired The Barbarian Games.
Its underlying message?
"We are men; we should be sincere about who we are," Smith said. "The men in the Bible were brave and courageous."
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Barbarian Games
WHEN: Saturday through Sunday; meet 8 a.m. at Lifepoint Church, 400 S. Ferdon Blvd., Crestview, and leave 9 a.m. Sunday.
WHERE: Attendees will travel to undisclosed, in-county private property
COST: $40 per person