Slip sliding away in Cocalico: 66 participants cover 33.38 miles in hopes of Guinness record

By on May 6, 2015

They were just 66 men and women, most of them college students, with a simple dream Saturday:
To get into the Guinness World Record book by traveling more than 26 miles on their butts, stomachs or any other body part on a slip-and-slide.
And to do it within one hour.
Mission accomplished — subject to Guinness’ verification, which could take about three months.
The soggy crew calculated they traveled 33.38 miles on their handmade slip-and-slide set up at Camp Conquest, a Christian retreat on Forest Road in Denver.

A group of young people broke a slip and slide record at Camp Conquest in West Cocalico Township Saturday.

A group of young people broke a slip and slide record at Camp Conquest in West Cocalico Township Saturday.

 
“It was quite the ordeal but we did it,” said Ben Baker, a Temple University sophomore and Lampeter-Strasburg graduate who helped organize the effort.
“We’ve got some injuries —  some good scrapes — but nothing serious.”
Organizers will provide Guiness with video of the event, notary documentation, two witness accounts and surveyor certification, Baker said.
“We’re confident Guinness will accept us,” he said.
The group also hopes to raise $15,000 for The Living Legacy Foundation, a Maryland agency that promotes organ and tissue donation. The amount raised was not known Saturday.
Baker, age 20, was among 10 participants from Lancaster County.
Born with scarring on his liver, he received a liver transplant in 2012. The Living Legacy helped make the transplant happen.
Most of his teammates on Saturday’s adventure were students from Temple and Messiah College, where he previously was enrolled.
The feat was done in front of 150 to 200 enthusiastic friends and relatives.
The group had to make some strategic tweaks.

LNP photos

LNP photos

The initial idea of making the slip-and-slide out of swimming pool covers was discarded in favor of heavy plastic black tarps, which produced faster rides.
Even with the durable tarps, though, test runs produced wear and tear, which slowed the descent. So patches were made over the rough spots.
Then another snag surfaced.
The course had a tiny turn, which made it impossible to travel as planned &tstr; in groups of three. So they descended one at a time, leaving every three seconds for a full hour.
According to Baker, the sliding students made 1,157 individual, complete trips down the 150-foot course.
Water for the slip-and-slide was pumped out of a nearby pond. That plus cool temperatures made for a brisk afternoon.
“We kept pounding it out…,” said Baker. “It got a little cold toward the end.”
Saturday’s apparent success marked the second time Baker and friends tackled a world-record challenge to raise money for Living Legacy.
A year ago, 25 members of the group set a Guinness World Record for the distance traveled on a kick scooter in 24 hours. The group went 344 miles, breaking a 1980 record Baker said was set by a bunch of Australian farmers.
Each of the 25 guys got their names into the record book. And they raised $6,900 with the stunt.
The 25 young men broke the record by going back and forth on a 100-meter track at a New Cumberland sports center.
“It was absolutely terrible,” Baker said of the grueling night, laughing. “I’m not gonna lie.”
The craziness all started when Baker, the son of John and Cindy Baker in Willow Street, enrolled at Messiah College. Like many freshmen students, he started hanging around with the people on his dorm floor.
Those guys developed an unusual hobby: riding around at night on Razor scooters, the kind of scooter you move by kicking with one foot as you glide along.
“They’re just like what every 5-year-old rides,” Baker said. “Someone went to Wal-Mart and bought one, and we all kind of followed.”
Before they knew it, the group’s Razor scooter rides had become a “thing.” The group gave themselves a nickname, “The Night Razors.” They started a Facebook page, which has more than 600 likes.
“We got a weird following,” Baker said. “People actually started recognizing us.”
The group decided to have some fun and raise money for a good cause. Somebody came up with the idea to get into the Guinness World Book of Records and the idea just kind of took off.
In Baker’s case, the scooter record took some perseverance. He developed a type of cancer specific to transplant recipients and was undergoing treatments for it at the time the group broke the record. He is now in remission from the cancer.
After last year’s scooter record, Baker transferred to Temple University, where he’s a student in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, but remained a member of the Night Razors.
The group continued to conspire on good ideas for fun and fundraising, and came up with the slip-and-slide idea.
The record in the category they hope to break was set by a group in Tennessee in 2014, according to the Guinness website.
The prep for Saturday’s attempt was a bit loose.
The Night Razors did not train at all. They also did not even know how their slide was going to work as late as Friday.
Of course this all does not end here.
The Night Razors hope to break another record of some kind, but are still mulling over which one.
And Baker has his own goal in sight.
“I’m going to spend five days on a Ferris wheel,” he said. “Four days is the record. I’m working with people at Ocean City, New Jersey, on the pier for that.”
It turns out that breaking records is kind of addicting.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” he said. “No one else does it. That’s it.”
People interesting in contributing to the slip-and-slide fundraiser can contact Baker at bb1318@messiah.edu. Though Baker no longer attends Messiah, he still has the e-mail account.
LNP reporter Tim Mekeel contributed to this story. 

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