The Olympics are officially underway! The Middle School COVID Olympics, that is. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students began competing in a variety of fun activities last week with the final round slated for the week after Easter. “We wanted to do the COVID Olympics this spring to balance out some of the (necessary) seriousness from the fall,” says Middle School Division Head Mark Engstrom. “With so many unknowns and fears around the pandemic somewhat now understood, we thought we could craft enough socially distanced activities to have a great time.”
Those activities include events with catchy titles like Soapy Marbles, Pass the Orange and Ping Pong Bounce. Once a week during morning community time and afternoon flex each homeroom tackles a challenge with the hopes of making it to the grade level finals. The classrooms are abuzz with the sounds of students attempting to pick up soap-covered marbles with chopsticks or trying to identify their favorite Middle School teachers based solely on childhood photos. “It’s been great to see Middle School students running around, competing, and encouraging each other in the spirit of their COVID Olympics team,” says Engstrom.
The Extras are an Important Aspect of Student Life
This is not the first time Engstrom and the Middle School team have gone the extra mile to boost the enthusiasm among Middle School students this year. This fall, students competed in the Wellness Wednesday Fall Fest Finals. Students participated in physical and mental challenges with the victors earning a sweet treat to celebrate their success. There was also considerable excitement when faculty found a safe way to re-introduce Peer Leaders, Student Council, Geography Bee, MATHCOUNTS and Student Vestry.
Middle School Counselor Alicia Kelly says activities such as the COVID Olympics and the Wellness Wednesday competitions are important because they encourage “team building, engagement, fun and connection” among students. All of this is critical to a Middle School student’s emotional health and well-being and provides students with a sense of connection to their school and each other.
Similar to last school year, this school year has certainly been unusual. Throughout it all, students have adjusted well to the health and safety protocols, and faculty have found creative and inspiring ways to make life on campus a meaningful experience. Events like the COVID Olympics take considerable time to plan and numerous spreadsheets to track team results and points. However, seeing the smiles on the students’ faces makes the effort worth it.
We wish the Middle School Olympians luck in the competition! Check out the latest team rankings below.
As of March 5th, here are the current standings in the Middle School COVID Olympics.
Team Name Competition
Snyder’s Silly Sanitizers
Weaver’s Wuhan Fever Relievers