Breakfast in the Park
Senior members of the NHS chapter at Fairview HS in Fairview Park, OH, gather in a park near the school on a morning in May for a farewell breakfast. Senior boys arrive early to collect firewood and build a fire, then all seniors work together to prepare a cook-out style breakfast for the group.
To celebrate the end of the school year and provide an opportunity for students to sign each other's yearbooks, the National Honor Society at Brussels (IL) HS hosts a Spring Fest each May. NHS provides competitive activities such as volleyball, water balloon toss, tug-of-war over a mud pit, and trivia contests. Competitions are held between classes and the winning classes get an early dismissal and candy. NHS members also barbecue and sell hamburgers and hot dogs to cover the expenses of the day.
A homeroom competition at Rocori HS in Cold Spring, MN, pits three-person teams against each other in a 100-meter sled race held during Snow Week. Homerooms supply their own sleds, which are pulled by two people with a third person riding the sled. Qualifying rounds with 6-8 homerooms narrow the field to a final race. The whole school goes out to watch the event and homerooms get into the act with cheers. The winning class receives a pizza and root beer float party.
Modeled after the television show, Survivor at Richland (WA) HS involves two teams of eight students (a boy and girl from each grade). Applications and interviews help organizers select the best group of contestants. The teams undertake weekly challenges which are designed to be more exciting than regular class competitions. Each time a team loses they vote a person off until only eight people remain, at which point it becomes an individual competition. Each time a person wins, he or she gains immunity, which means they can vote someone off but no one can vote them off. The competition continues until one person is declared the winner.
To develop school spirit and leave their mark on their new high school, NHS members at East Jessamine HS in Nicholasville, Ky., sold Jaguar Paws which were painted on the walkway leading from the school's entrance. Each paw print was painted with the student or faculty member's name, year of graduation, and sport decal or other activity symbol. Proceeds from the sale funded the group's attendance at the state convention.
Before home football games at Pennridge HS in Perkasie, PA, student council members bring out grills and food and host a tailgating party in the school's parking lot, complete with a disc jockey. The spirit-boosting event brings together students and members of the community who come to eat before the game.
Each week students at Covington (LA) HS are encouraged to submit their names for a Spirit Couch drawing that is held at the Friday pep rally. The person whose name is drawn gets to choose three guests to join him or her that evening on the Spirit Couch, which is set up on the sideline of the football field. The winner and guests are treated to pizza, snacks, and soft drinks and can watch the game from this prized position. They are also provided with various spirit items--a game cup, spirit ribbon, pom pons, and noisemakers.
Combining fundraising with fun raising the student council at Warren Central HS in Indianapolis, Ind., sponsors a "spirit couch" at basketball games. Students pay 25 cents for a chance to sit on the spirit couch with five friends during a basketball game. The gym has a small balcony at the end of the playing floor that has a double railing and is big enough for a long couch. Council members borrow a couch from the Performing Arts Center and decorate the railing and the couch. The winning student chooses his friends, sits on the couch during the game (the best seats in the house!), and is served pizza and soft drinks at halftime.
Let's Make a Deal
The student council of Notre Dame HS in St. Louis, Mo., developed a fun lunchtime activity that is a spin off of the game show Let's Make a Deal. Several days before the activity they notify students to bring in odd items-movie ticket stubs, ball game tickets, mom's grocery list, hair pins, curlers, shower caps, teddy bears, Pokeman cards, and so forth-in their purses or bookbags. On the day of the activity, a student council member serves as the announcer at lunch. She calls for one of the items and a panel of student council judges determines the first person to raise their hand. Whoever raises their hand first comes forward and selects either bag one, bag two, or bag three, which are a combination of gift bags and grocery bags. Inside each bag is a gift--as with the TV show, some are good and some are bad. The bad ones are often deceptive, since they sometimes have $1, $5, or $10 underneath.
"For the first few times the announcer shows what the student could have won if he or she had chosen the other bags. Eventually students will try to select the worse bag thinking money is attached. By this time, you no longer attach money to the gifts," said Ann Bolzenius, student council adviser. "This is a great opportunity to get rid of your old student council stuff--decorations, T-shirts, etc., and the kids love it," she said.
Battle of the Classes
During spirit week, the student council of Scituate (N.Y.) HS sponsors a Battle of the Classes in which students from all grades compete in a variety of events. Students pay $5 to enter the gym and they receive five raffle tickets. Inside the gym, students sit by grade level in four bleacher sections. Raffle tickets are drawn to determine contestants for each event. Events vary from year to year and have included relay events, Jello wrestling, sundae building and eating, and whipped cream musical chairs. To protect the floor, council members cover the gym floor with plastic sheets. The student council adviser serves as the judge for events. Winners of each event earn points that go toward the overall spirit competition for the week.