Challenge coins are commonly associated with the military, law enforcement agencies, fraternities, sororities and other tight-knit groups. The coins are often used as tokens of appreciation that members give to one another for special things. The idea is to infuse esprit de corps and pride in the team.
Challenges: “Coin Checks”
Challenge coins symbolize belonging to a group. As such, groups plan challenges during meetings and parties. These challenges come with a “coin check,” or the demonstration of loyalty to the group, that consists on producing the coins on the spot. Group members that fail to produce their coins, that is, that do not have the coins with them at the time of the challenge, would have to accept it.
Examples of typical challenges include buying rounds of drinks, serving as designated drivers, and other, more complex and daring tests.
Still, you do not have to be in the military or, be a part of any particular group, to create and mint your own group coin. Any group, from running clubs to a “wolf pack” of wedding groomsmen, can design their very own personal token and decide who gets it, what it takes to get it, and what challenges will come with it.
“Show your coins”
Coin checks can happen anytime and anywhere. The challenge begins by someone calling the coin check. This is done when a coin holder shouts out or makes a motion showing everyone that the coins are being checked.
• Most of the time, the caller is holding his or her coin in the air.
• Once the coin check is announced, the other coin owners need to produce their coins by holding them in the air as well.
• Those who do not have the coin with them need to do whatever challenge is announced.
4 great times to have a challenge coin
While it is recommended to carry the coin at all times, be sure to take it with you specifically in these events:
Birthday celebrations are prime for coin checks. Everyone is having a good time, food and drink are being served, and the atmosphere just renders itself perfectly for a challenge. A special challenge during birthdays may include having the non-coin holders:
• Drink a set number of shots
• Serve as bartenders, or serving food at the party
• Become designated clean-up crew after the party
Conferences and meetings
A great way to activate the crowd and break the ice during a big conference is by doing calling out a loud coin check from the podium. Everyone gets to show their coin in the air, making those who are coinless realize the importance of showing team spirit.
Weddings, bachelor, and bachelorette parties
These are especially-unique occasions because the bride and groom can test the loyalty of their selected wedding party by asking them to produce their coins during a variety of pre-and- post wedding activities. These include:
• The rehearsal dinner, prior to making a toast
• Before the Best Man’s speech
• At the start of the wedding, or before the wedding starts
• Prior to the Bachelor/Bachelorette party taking off
Challenges may include making non-holders entertain the crowd, having them serve as ushers, or making them designated drivers to coin holders.
Anytime there is an outing, be ready to show your coin to avoid having to pay other people’s drinks, or ending up as a designated driver for the party. Pub crawl outings are quintessential for coin checks because of the many opportunities to make group members do things they would never do otherwise. Challenges can be as simple or as complex as the group decides.