Students Cut Loose on Spirit Day

Cassandra Ratzlaff, Staff Writer

The Out-of-Door Academy’s Uihlein campus at Lakewood Ranch hosted its annual Spirit Day on March 30th. ODA has designated this day to their students to allow students time to let loose and challenge each other in games before spring break. Athletes and non-athletes alike enjoy engaging in the day’s unusual events.

Every grade level is split into either a Blue or a White team (ODA school colors). They are then again split into an A team or a B team, where they face off against each other to win events. The first event of the day is the canned food drop-off. Points are earned for each team by team members bringing in cans of food that is donated to All Faiths Food Bank. Then the games begin.

Some of these events you may have never heard of outside of Spirit Day. One of these games is called “Ice Block.” The concept is basically a relay, but players have to carry a ten pound block of ice while running. Another is called “Fireman’s Carry.” Again, it’s a relay, but competitors have to run to the other end with an empty colander, dunk the colander into a bucket of water, then run back with the colander on top of one’s head. Whichever team ends up with the most water, mostly squeezed from players’ hair into another bucket, is the winner. In another relay, players are given four different objects: a small Nerf ball, a large Nerf ball, a hula hoop, and a football that must be thrown to team members one at a time down a line. If one member drops an item, the relay must begin again–so much pressure! Other games of the day are well-known favorites: Kickball, Capture-the-Flag, Handball, Human Horseshoe, and the Egg Toss. As the students play, faculty members referee and cheer competitors in the games.

Before and after the events, the seniors rally up their teams by chanting and raising a Spirit Stick into the air to boost their team’s school spirit –a totem that is passed down each year. Each Spirit Day, the senior class adds something new to their team’s spirit stick– imagine how many items dangle from these icons!

The day ends with one last Spirit Day tradition: the eighth grade obstacle course race and the senior class obstacle course. This year, the senior Blue Team and the eighth grade White Team won points for their teams. At the end of the day, the wins from the teams of each event are tallied up where Mr. Tim Brewer, ODA’s Activities Director, announces the winning team.

After every win was counted, the winner of Spirit Day 2012 was the White Team. Spirit Day legend around campus says that for the first seventeen years of Spirit Day, the White Team won. Despite a few years of Blue Team wins, the White Team has once again been the long-reigning winner. Who will win next year? We’ll have to wait another year to find out.