Local inventor creates family game
What’s a lot of fun for the whole family, easy to do and goes anywhere with you? That’s the question inventor Trey White, of Jersey Shore, was pondering last winter. He drew the answer on the back of a napkin and the rest is history. From that simple beginning, the Chillin’ Chair Challenge game by TLW Outdoors was born.
Trey remembers that early brainstorming process.
“We were looking at different family games that were out there and we realized that if the game was a family game, (often it wasn’t) portable. Also, some games just aren’t user-friendly. We were kicking around a couple of ideas and thought that it’s pretty common that people are camping, tailgating, or going to sporting events. What if we could integrate something onto a bag chair? “
The concept grew from there. By Memorial Day 2021, the Whites had a game to sell at events or to offer as a pre-order.
Trey explains, “I bought some material at the local Walmart and started sewing. I tailored the game to fit the back of a bag chair, figuring that basically any chair with a back could be used to provide the structure. My wife, the kids and I would work at the kitchen table with that first game. We played it. We used different balls and adjusted the game play until we had something we were satisfied to take to manufacturing. My dad (Tom White) helped us secure a provisional patent and we created TLW Outdoors, LLC.”
Since then, the Chillin’ Chair Challenge prototype went into production at a Williamsport facility. Online buyers can now purchase the game in a 6-inch by 4-inch storage bag. It is small enough to slip under a car seat or even in a door pocket. Inside the bag is a rolled up ripstop nylon “game board” with adjustable straps that fit on the back of a chair along with 6 foam golf balls and instructions.
Here is how it is played.
“Once the game board is attached, players stand about 8 feet away from it and toss foam golf balls into ‘baskets’ sewn onto the game board. Because the foam balls are soft, they are easy to throw and cause no damage, no matter where you play,” says the inventor. “I use a dart throwing technique. The kids use an underhand toss.”
This past winter, the Whites focused on play improvements. There will soon be three versions of game play.
“Our game is different from most toss or tailgate games because it’s lightweight and portable. It’s family friendly and goes anywhere. If you are stuck somewhere, and you need something to play, it’s there. It’s especially good for keeping the kids busy. You can set it up at your tailgate or river lot. It’s the same high-quality game as you would get with something that’s more stationary. “