Boarder Carnival: A Different Way to Break the Ice
by Calvin Wang on Friday, October 2nd, 2015
This year’s Boarding Monitors, Annabell Asare (I) and Chadd Yuan (I), decided to bring the boarding community together and host a carnival. Replacing the usual annual Sunday dorm trip to Boston, the carnival, held in the FCC due to the weather, was a pleasant change. The carnival, beginning at 7pm on Sunday, September 13, included an inflatable obstacle course, tie-dye shirts, carnival snacks, and a brother-sister dorm volleyball tournament.
The inflatable obstacle course was almost as long as the hockey rink, had two lanes for races, and took up almost half of the FCC’s north field house. Carnival snack and tie-dye stations were located in the north field. The tie-dye station, run by Madina Diop (I), offered free shirts for the students to stain; however, many students brought their own shirts (and even socks!) to the station. The volleyball tournament was held on two of three courts in the FCC. The teams were comprised of three girls and three boys from brother-sister dorms. Run by Solace Mensah-Narh (II) and Nia Atkins (II), the volleyball tournament had whole dorms cheering for their teams during three games. Hallowell-Wolcott beat Millet-Norris in the semi-finals, and Forbes-Robbins had a comeback win against Goodwin-Hathaway. In the finals, Forbes-Robbins beat Hallowell-Wolcott, pulling through with a 2-0 win.
As a member of Forbes House, I’ve noticed that members of the boarding community at Milton rarely seem to socialize with other boarders outside of their respective dorms unless it is convenient. I say this because all regular boarding events, such as sit-down dinner and Chapel, are often spent with fellow dorm-mates. For example, though Chapel is supposed to bring the boarding community together every week, boarders often arrive with other members from their dorm, sit with those same people, and rarely engage in conversation with those in other dorms.
Commenting on the goal of the carnival, Annabell stated that “last year during boarding monitor elections, I promised new traditions in the boarding community. We created space for boarders that isn’t the formal and often rigid environment that is our beloved chapel.” Chadd added, “Our goal was to give new boarders a chance to see the boarding community as a whole and create a setting where new students could get to know other boarders through fun activities.”
When asked whether the carnival was successful in meeting these goals, Belle Chen (I) said that “the carnival did a great job creating opportunities for new students to get to know other students. While the Boston trip would have helped facilitate relationships within the dorms, the carnival allowed boarders across dorms to meet one another.” Trevor Atkeson (I) described the festivities as “really fun,” and Juan Diego Jaramillo (I) echoed that sentiment, describing the carnival as “a fit substitute for the [usual, beginning-of-the-year] Boston trip.” However Isaac Goldings (IV) and Ben Pratt (IV) offered suggestions for improvement. Ben agreed that “it was fun at first, but needed more activities. In the future, the boarding monitors might consider having the Boston trip on Saturday and Carnival on the Sunday, given that the first weekend is already a closed weekend, meaning boarders cannot sign out leave campus.”
Regardless, the carnival was one step closer toward further uniting the boarding community. Mission accomplished Chad and Annabell.
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