Ups and Downs of Being an ODA Student


Do you think the Out-of-Door Academy babies its students too much? How is it different from other schools? Is it for better or for worse?

The students who attend ODA get tremendous benefits compared to students of other schools. Students at the Out-of-Door are never excluded from activities whether it’s in sports or auditioning for a play.

Brett Timmons, the athletic director, reflects, “There are some issues here. In the past you couldn’t cut because you needed people to fill the teams. Now though it doesn’t mean anything to be on a team when you really don’t have to work to be a part of something. There’s no fear of not making it. How do you learn how to deal with rejection if you have never really experienced it.

“We shield our kids from failure and they never experience failure but when they do, most don’t know how to handle it. Part of our mission in athletics is to help individuals learn life lessons of handling adversity and that you can overcome most of your situations in life if you step back, develop a game plan, then attack it.”

There is an up side and a down side to this. The fact that everyone gets a chance to play really sparks people to go out for a sport. Although some students don’t try because they know they will already make the team. They believe there is no need to give it their all. This is upsetting for the students who do try their hardest because in the end it doesn’t matter, everyone still makes the team.

The head of the Arts Department and Director of the Theater Program,  Ms. Evans, said “I think it’s important for the people in the arts to have an opportunity to express themselves. When I think about plays, I select plays based on the interest so that’s why everyone gets a part. The reality though is some people are more skilled than others, and they tend to get the lead roles. We don’t necessarily cut anyone but if we were a school maybe twice the size then that could possibly change. We are a small family and everyone deserves a role. We are not like most other schools. It’s just our reality.”

From a student’s point of view, Junior Kimmy Comito said, “Every student is required to have a sports credit. Because of this, there are students who try out for sports teams just for the sports credit. So this can be a disadvantage to the success of some teams because there are students who don’t exactly want to put in the effort to make the team better. However, with out the required sports credit, there might not be enough people to have some of the sports teams.

Kimmy comes at it from a different view. She still possesses the same issue but expresses her opinion completely different.

The Out-of-Door Academy is one big family and it stays true to that by making sure nobody is ever excluded or feels left out. ODA gives everyone a chance to whether you are good or bad at something. It is a touchy subject. Some believe this is just our community and the way we function while others feel completely opposite.

Is this for better or for worse? The true answer is it’s both.