Homecoming Revolution

Posted on October 1, 2012 by

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Through past projects in Mike’s Age of Exploration and now in this year’s US History Research Seminar, I’ve learned that in order to create an outstanding project, I need to be open to all considerations and ideas, no matter how crazy they are.  Last Friday, this same motto was proved to hold true for any situation in life. Our small and conservative private school managed to pull off an almost ‘traditional’ homecoming, something that had never been done before. All we needed was push from the Homecoming coordinator to keep our eyes and minds open to everything. And that if we wanted to execute something, it was possible as long as we put our minds to it.

Last Friday night was a night to celebrate. For 1300 students, faculty and parents, it was a night to cheer on our boys’ and girls’ soccer teams and have a fun afternoon out in the gorgeous day.  For me, a group of 10 or so volunteers and some faculty members, it was a night to celebrate the hard work we had put into making everything happen.  For four months we had planned for this four-hour Homecoming event, scraping all ideas together to try and make this year’s Homecoming the biggest yet.  During our first meeting with the head coordinator, a committed, energetic and passionate volunteer mom, we had a lot of bizarre and out-of-this-world ideas that we had tossed out on the table for fun.

Coming from a small and religious private school, things like Homecoming Court, a choreographed dance and cheerleaders (we don’t even have a dance or cheer team), a float parade and even a concession stand seemed crazy and impossible. The student body automatically spurned the choreographed idea, thinking no one would want to volunteer their time to memorize a 3-minute routine.  The next thing to get knocked off the list by the student body was the float parade. None of us even knew how to create a float, yet alone get 100 people to participate in the walking parades from years past.  Most people at our school, including myself, have yet to experience a traditional ‘public school’ homecoming, so when these big ideas came into the picture, out of skepticism, we rejected all, at the time, crazy ideas, however our coordinating chair pushed us to look at a bigger picture, not just a small one that OES kids are known to looking at.

About a month until the big day rolled around, something clicked.  A large number of students had more faith that Homecoming could actually be something bigger and better, if we just put in the effort. A group of eighteen students took their lunch period and weekends to rehearse a dance choreographed by a Senior leader, student leaders from different divisions started drawing out blueprints of floats and a couple high school girls were teaching a group of thirty Lower School ‘Pep Squad’ members cheers and chants.  The ‘big picture’ was starting to focus in our vision.

Friday night was show time. Three to four hundred students, who were led by a stream of Lower School Pep Squad members, paraded around the track as three impressive floats followed behind.  The concession stand, selling a variety of chips, drinks and candies, drew in a crowd of customers, and at halftime, the OES Dance Team stunned the crowd with a routine that included upbeat music, synchronized movement, the hoisting and tossing of girls with the help of some sturdy boys.

During our first meeting, no one knew our school had the capabilities to throw such a successful and almost ‘traditional’ homecoming event.  Without the push from our coordinator to keep our eyes open, no snacks, dance, float, or Pep Squad would have ever happened.  Which lead me to think that the next time I work on another huge event or even just a school project, I should keep any ideas open for consideration, because as long as the effort is put in anything can be done.

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Posted in: Learning, Projects