Jumping into the Record Book
Local Boys & Girls Clubs join effort to break world record.
Over 100 young people from the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Boys & Girls Clubs took part in a national jumping jacks record-breaking event Tuesday.
Preliminary numbers from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America indicate that more 20,000 club members nationwide participated to set a new record for the most people doing jumping jacks simultaneously at multiple locations for two consecutive minutes. This shattered the previous Guinness World Record of 278 jumpers.
World records aren’t easy to break, but Jasmine Burrell, 12, and Aja Dixon, 8, have been in training. The girls were part of an enthusiastic 37-member team at Admiral Oaks Boys & Girls Club.
“I can do jumping jacks for 2 minutes,” Jasmine, a 6th grader at Bates Middle School, assured before the event. “I’ve been practicing ever since I heard about it.”
Aja, a student at Rolling Knolls Elementary, used her outdoor time at school for preparation.
“I always exercise at recess,” she said.
More than 1,000 Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States signed up to break the record in celebration of National Boys & Girls Club Week, running from March 20-26. This event also highlights the goals of the national Boys & Girls Clubs' Triple Play program which encourages kids to eat healthy, be physically active and have healthy relationships.
To verify the authenticity of the event, Guinness World Records required that the Boys & Girls Clubs have an independent representative at each site who will send a signed statement to Guinness including the number of participants who jumped for the 2-minute time period.
“We started preparing for this event at Admiral Oaks about two weeks ago,” said Caleb Wolf, program director of Admiral Oaks Boys & Girls Club.
To keep order for last night’s jump, the blacktop in front of the community center was chalk-lined with large, numbered squares. Each jumper was assigned a square to help organizers keep track of the effort. Balloons waved in the breeze as excited club members waited for the jumping to begin.
After rounding up everyone interested in taking part, Wolf went from child to child, getting names and information for the official Guinness paperwork. Just before the start, Wolf led members in a few warm-up jumps.
Then, at exactly 6:30 p.m. eastern time, Boys & Girls Club members from Admiral Oaks to Los Angeles began two minutes of jumping jacks, also known
as “star jumps.”
Brian Hill, director of public relations for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, said although final numbers from Tuesday night have yet to be verified by Guinness, he has no doubt the Boys & Girls Clubs will be the new record-holders.
“We had over 1,000 Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States and in military bases overseas that signed up to participate,” Hill said. “We are very confident that we will break this record.”
In Anne Arundel County, clubs at Admiral Oaks, Bywater and Annapolis Gardens, all in Annapolis, along with clubs in Meade Village in Severn, and Freetown Village in Pasadena signed up to take part.
When the two-minute time was called Tuesday night at Admiral Oaks, it was high-fives all around. But the best part was yet to come. Each jumper has a great story to tell friends at school, something Jasmine is looking forward to.
“I’ll tell my friends to go to the book of records and I’ll be there,” she said.