Northwoods Adventure: Laporte Survivor Games Bring Popular TV Show to Life
It is not often when a person brings their favorite television show to life. For Missy and Shawn Zubke, this meant overhauling their backyard to host a series of miniature Survivor games and hold an annual competition with neighbors and family.
There are 20 players, two teams, but only one sole survivor. For the past nine years on the first Saturday in August, the Zubkes and their friends compete for this title. Started on Shawn’s brother’s 30th birthday party, this almost decade-long tradition is not only a dedication to the television show, but for their friends and family.
Although these games do not take place in locations like the Amazon or Fiji, but instead in the northwoods of Minnesota, these friends and neighbors come together to outwit, outplay, and outlast for the trophy and bragging rights.
Closely following the TV show, tribal eliminations are held after every game, cutting the usual 30 days on an island to about 12 hours in a backyard. However, after a contestant is eliminated from the game, they can still play, just not for the grand prize of $200 and their name forever etched into the trophy that Shawn made.
This year’s victor is Kasey Kampfer, who got 13 of the 17 final tribal votes. Cody Smith came in 2nd with three votes, and Cherish Olson took 3rd, receiving only one vote.
Next summer marks the 10-year anniversary of the Zubke’s Survivor games. People are encouraged to reach out if they are interested in participating and see if they can be the next sole survivor.
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