Squeezing the Last Days of Summer at the US Sand Sculpting Competition

As the summer winds down and our vacations wrap up, it is a great time to squeeze in a day trip or last-minute getaway before school and work ramp back up. Whether it is one last trip to the beach, a hike through a park, or visiting a museum, it can be a great way to spend time together as a family or small group of friends. Take time and ask your family or friends what they want to do before the summer ends and try to plan a day to wrap up the summer.

Risen Editor Kelli Gillespie and Risen Writer Mei Ling Nazar are looking forward to winding down the summer with their families at the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge Labor Day weekend. USA Today has named it one of their 10 Best and American Express calls it one of the top 20 “Must See” seaside events in the world. The U.S. Sand Sculpting Competition is headed to San Diego for the fifth year. Sandcastles will stretch across 1,000 feet on the pier of San Diego’s Big Bay, with over 300 tons of sand brought in to make the competition possible.

Considered one of the most important sand-sculpting competitions, World Master Class sand artists will carve for four days to create the finest sculptures. Sculptors travel from all over the world to challenge the best from the U.S. including Japan, Latvia, and Spain. The competition will feature 11 professional International Master Sculptors competing solo and seven teams of three in the Cool California Carver competition.

The competition spans over Labor Day weekend and is open to the public. There are lots of other activities surrounding the event including live entertainment, a giant sandbox for kids, food trucks and rides. Award-winning professional sculptors from Amsterdam, Paris and Tokyo will teach kids how to build sandcastles. Tickets are available on the U.S. Sand Sculpting website A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, Young Audiences of San Diego/Arts for Learning and It’s All About Kids Foundation.

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27


Risen Reflections

Build a sandcastle together as a family or small group. Have everyone bring buckets, shovels and other items to build a sandcastle. You could even have a mini-competition to see who can build the tallest or most creative sand castle or pick out a design and try to replicate it. It is a great way to have some teambuilding time. You could even use it as an opportunity to include others who want to check out your small group or church but are intimidated to attend. After the building time, have the group reflect on Matthew 7 and the difference between a wise and foolish builder. Ask what they learned about having to work together to accomplish a goal.

Be a wise builder. Take time this week to pray and reflect what you are investing your time in. Remember that God wants us to seek Him first and foremost in our plans. Whether it is a career change, where to go to school or what ministry to get involved with, God wants us to be stewards of our time, talent and treasure. Often times, we can be like the man building his house upon the sand. We don’t heed advice. We labor in our own strength without God and sometimes experience hardship that could have been avoided had we sought wise counsel.

Enjoy the last days of summer! Pack a picnic for your small group or family. Go for a hike instead of having Bible Study. Do a teambuilding activity like building a sandcastle together. Ask your family or small group members to invite a friend that they want to reach out and include. Have the group share one thing that they hope to accomplish before the end of the year. It can be something fun or a spiritual or fitness goal. Take time and pray for one another and the goals that everyone wants to accomplish.


Make sure to check out our social media for some pictures from our time at the event.

For more info about the U.S. Sand Sculpting competition click here

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