Student Leadership hosts annual Fall Fest

Activities held to raise morale with intention to create a fun, lively environment


Arden Ray

Twist and flip: Sophomore Cedric Walls takes a head dive toward the concrete wrapping his legs around his opponents as he tries anything to secure his victory and win the once-every-year competition. Filled with a competitive spirit the whole game Walls is playing to win. “I think it’s important to have a Fall Festival because it allows us to really get out of class and have fun with our friends while also exploring that community aspect of Bowie High School,” Walls said. “It was very fun and fulfilling [winning musical chairs], I got some bragging rights which was the best part.”

Emerson Traugott, Photo Essay Editor

All in 45 minutes, students’ spirits are uplifted as each grade is able to enjoy a stress-free festival on the last day before Thanksgiving break. During this time students were given the opportunity to leave the classroom atmosphere and indulge in activities, games, and hot cider within the perimeter of the courtyard. 

“My favorite thing about Fall Fest is watching everyone come together during a stressful time with tests coming up at the end of the semester, even the teachers seemed to be enjoying it,” junior student leadership member Leiton Nguyen said. “So seeing everyone having an excuse to take a break from their classes to have some fun was nice.”

Small booths, each with their own activity, lined the edges of the courtyard, set up by Student Leadership, or club presidents. Each club took responsibility for participation in the festival altogether, the activity they choose to do, and any food they decide to hand out. 

“Even though our planning was a little rushed this year,” JV tennis captain Ava Sprott said. “I still think it was a good opportunity to get kids more aware of the different clubs and sports at Bowie. Our booth had Connect Four and a spike ball-type game. We just wanted a lot of participation at our booth and for it to be interactive, so we can also get more people to try out this year.”

Highlighted in a bright color on the school calendar, Fall Festival takes nearly a month for Student Leadership to put together. Most time is dedicated to club outreach and organization of the donations from NHS and Student council who supplied the hot cider and cookies. The leadership class is separated into three separate committees to divide the work evenly. 

“We set up committees, the first being outreach, which is reaching out to clubs. Then we had food, where people organized the food aspect of the festival, and finally, we had logistics which was basically the layout,” Nguyen said. “My role was contacting clubs and making sure they were okay with being a part of the fest as well as figuring out donations.”  

Each year the festival hosts a different theme, with last year being a Winter Wonderland. This year, leadership decided to change the treats such as trading the hot cocoa for apple cider, fall leaves, and turkeys creating a more fall-like feel. 

“As part of student leadership we helped organize the apple cider and it seemed like everyone really liked that so I was really happy that our hard work paid off,” student leadership member Nirmiti Kerkar said. “Besides that, I think Fall Fest really helps boost morale. People are burning out, they are just like ‘school is school and I just need to through finals and what not’ and Fall Fest kind of helps people get excited for at least one day, so it’s really helpful for students.” 

A chaotic staple to every festival’s list of activities is musical chairs. Large crowds keeping their eyes glued to the circle of chairs in front of them. A slow walk around the chairs to the faint sounds of a popular song  from 20 years ago ignites students’ competitive spirit. Each round intensifies the urgency to win and clouds the festival’s original purpose of a small escape to a stressful environment.  

“No major overcrowding really took place, but we [student leadership] were told to keep an eye out for it and to yell at ‘them’ if it did happen, but we never needed to step in,” Nguyen said. “Musical chairs are always crazy but the club does it every year because everyone always likes it.” 

Student leadership spent hours planning the event and Nguyen shares her thoughts on how she believes their planning paid off.

“This year went really well I feel like, there were no major problems that set us off schedule or our original plans we made for fall fest,” Nguyen said. “I know there is always room for improvement but honestly, I see no key point where we would need to improve for next year.”

Fall Festival brings a small in-school break, and even are able to teachers get out of their classrooms. 

“I love seeing students just playing. We sometimes forget in high school that these teenagers are still kids and need time to play and it’s really fun for me to see them acting like kids again,” history teacher Wendy Uzzle said. “No masks this year has really played a role, taking away their security blanket in a way, kids are forced to be a little more social and I’ve seen kids being more social and interactive in class and especially through activities like the Fall Festival.”