“The big goal for the winter carnival is to have a school community feel, like ‘this is us. We are here, we have Oyster River pride.’ It’s like us cheering for ourselves which I love,” said Dean of Faculty, Mark Milliken.
The last week of school before winter break (16th-20th), the student body at ORHS will be participating in winter carnival, a second spirit week. Winter carnival is a week long event where every day of the week has a different theme. Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) worked with administration to ensure that this winter pep rally is about bringing the entire student body together. “The goal of the winter pep rally is to bring the school together in a way that’s not grade against grade in a fun school held event,” said Sophie Sullivan, a member of SALT.
The themes of the week include; ugly sweater day on Monday, dress as a teacher on Tuesday, sports jersey day on Wednesday, pj set day on Thursday, and Friday is bobcat pride day as well as pep rally day. The winter carnival pep rally activities include, sleigh ride (sheet race), kin ball, snowball fight (also known as gladiator), spinny bat, a lip sync battle, musical chairs, a blizzard run relay race, and a pie eating contest.
On pep rally day, students will attend shortened, thirty-five minute classes until lunch/advisory. For more information on the schedule see the pep rally schedule posted below.
In order to prevent grades from competing against each other, each advisory in the school was assigned to one of five teams.Teams were made so that there is at least one freshman advisory, one sophomore advisory, one junior advisory and one senior advisory in each group. Prior to winter carnival all advisors were given a sign up list for the pep rally activities that students can sign up for during advisory. The sign up list is a first come, first served system for all activities, which means that activities will vary in the number of participants from each grade. The goal would be that all teams for each activity has at least one freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior competing together.
Even though there are teams, sports teams, clubs and friend groups are encouraged to form their own group to compete in any event of their choosing. Students in SALT are competing as a group in the lip sync battle instead of participating with their advisories. “If you want to get a group of your friends together or a club you are in to compete in an event, it is definitely encouraged,” said Nicole Cassimiro, a SALT advisor.
No matter what event you are competing in or who you are competing with, all students will sit in the gym during the pep rally with their team. By sitting with each assigned team all grades are forced to sit and cheer together and are not separated from each other. “Regular spirit week is all about seniors against freshman and all the classes against each other. This one is different because you will be seated by your advisories sitting with seniors and freshmen. Really everyone will be cheering for everyone,” explained Cassimiro.
Cassimiro, who attended ORHS, had a winter carnival when she was in high school, however it was cancelled due to lack of attendance. “It was worse attendance than it was for the fall pep rally. No one stayed. Everyone either left or got dismissed,” said Cassimiro. Now, as an advisor for SALT, Cassimiro has had the help of administration and SALT to bring back the winter pep rally. Cassimiro explained, “the winter pep rally really fosters school spirit. Everyone is coming together and recognizing that we’ve got sports teams and clubs and a bunch of different individuals that are coming together to do something pretty cool over the winter season.”
Like Cassimiro, Gracie Gange (‘22) explained, “I’m really excited for the winter pep rally. The old pep rally was grade versus grade but with this one you get to be more included with other grades.”
As the winter carnival pep rally approaches, students like Shealee Dulin (21’) can’t wait to get in on the action. “I’m excited to participate in Kin ball. I’m also excited to watch all the other events like Lip sync battle and see how much fun everybody is having.”