The Ninja movement is creeping through Prince Rupert with covert COVID-19 missions. Whining kids at home during the pandemic may be creating the need for wining moms at home who need a little sparkle to their day.
More than 1800 members, across three social media groups, in Prince Rupert are personifying pop-culture’s folk-lore image of Ninja’s, with blatant displays of invisibility, stealthiness and surprise attacks, by giving gifts to complete strangers during the restrictive times of the coronavirus.
Whether you’re a dad, or a mom or a kid, there is an anonymous ninja group for you to break the boredom of social isolation.
Kim St. Pierre, administrator of Prince Rupert Ninja Kids said the group was set up less than two weeks ago. It has already generated 345 members at the time of publishing with new members still waiting in the wings on acceptance. The group is for members to brighten someones day by anonymously delivering candy, treats, books and small toys in an effort to keep in contact.
Members of Prince Rupert Ninja Kids are mostly school aged up to 18, however, there are some much younger ones who have registered as well, said St. Pierre.
The idea of the Ninja Kids group was brought up by St. Pierre’s daughter who was looking for something to do during the coronavirus restrictions.
“I keep seeing all these wine ninjas and whisky ninjas and beer ninjas. What about the kids?… they need to get out and about,” St. Pierre said.
“It’s a great way to show them how much fun it is to give to somebody else. Plus it supports the economy, right here in town.”
“(Everyone) loves the idea. They think it’s great. It gets the kids out and about it’s something fun for the family to do….the kids just get so excited about sneaking up on a house and leaving things – just knocking on the door and running. People are just loving it.”
St. Pierre said the children’s group has strict protocols for safety. All members are vetted and pre-screened before being accepted. If there is any question at all about the legitimacy of a pending member they will not be admitted to uphold protection of the children in the group.
Ninja kids is on it’s second round, with other Prince Rupert groups at different stages.
Prince Rupert Wine Ninja’s, a female only group, is on its fourth round with more than 1100 members and has been delivering some smiles and liquid sanity to moms at home, for less than three weeks.
The group is not just for moms. It is open to any lady over the age of 19, who wants to share in the fun of reaching out to give to a sister during the pandemic.
To create a safe space and environment, because names, ages and addresses are shared within the group, it is limited to those identifying as female only. While the group’s moniker is ‘Wine’ Ninjas, a participant can opt for non-alcoholic beverages when listing their likes and dislikes.
The cloak-and-dagger deliveries, to make her day a bit brighter during social distancing requirements, have reversed the cooped up feelings with many ninjas making elaborate and extensive planning for their heists, with costumes, music and video’s of the anonymous antics.
The men shouldn’t be left out, Allison Smith said. She saw a need for men to become involved from seeing the community example set by the Wine Ninja’s, so Smith started Prince Rupert Beer Buddies.
“I felt that everybody should be included, in that it shouldn’t be just a girl thing. We could get the guys on board. They have such fun doing it.”
Beer Buddies has generated more than 354 participants in just a little more than a week. The first round was limited to 150 buddies and that takes a lot of site administration time Smith said. Beer Buddies started with two administrators spending up to six hours each day answering messages, updating the lists and keeping track of who has been delivered to.
“I work nights. I get a lot of (site) comments. My phone goes crazy at night. It can be very time consuming,” Smith, who can not use her cell phone when she is at work, said.
The administrators have outside jobs, are volunteers and are not paid, so do the best they can with answering questions and messages. A third administrator has just been added to assist with the demand.
“It has been hugely popular,” Smith said.
For all three secret delivery groups there is no dollar threshold placed on an amount to spend. Each group believes in the philosophy of giving only what you can and being grateful for what you receive.
Gifts have not been limited to just bottles of wine or beer. Treats like, chips, popcorn, candy, books, have all been part of the parcels. Bubble bath, bath bombs and facial masks for the girls to have a little pampering have been ninja’d, and jerky, moose sausage, fish and magazines for the guys to chill out with and de-stress during COVID-19 have also been gifted.
“I’m having a lot of fun seeing the reactions and the happiness that it’s bringing to the community, especially the children right now,” St. Pierre said.
”Because of the pandemic and of having to be locked up and being away from friends, this is a way for them to go out and surprise everybody, without having to break the social distancing. Everybody’s having a blast with it.”
K-J Millar | Journalist
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