Friday, September 7, 2012

Quad Pep Rallies

Opening Pep Rally: September 7, 2012

Typical Spirit Poster - ASB 2012
When we opened school we have been anticipating our first Quad Pep Rally. (We just call them Pep Rallies and things we do in the Gym are call Pep Assemblies, but as we are being read around the globe I felt it important to clarify).  Each year just prior to the first home Football game we have one of the bigger of our outside rallies.  Freshmen need to be trained about how spirited Loara is and the Seniors need to be welcomed back in style.

Although the entire school isn't involved or forced into attendance because it's at lunch, we always get a fair amount of people to come forward and participate and watch. It's just what Loara does, it's just what Loara has always done, Spirit. We approach things differently from year to year, however we still focus on energy and school pride.  Why don't we get upset the entire school isn't watching up front and center?  Well there are 2800 kids on campus, and we do it in the middle of lunch so we couldn't possibly handle that kind of crowd at lunch.  But what I feel is true with all the things we do is that they don't need to be present to feel the Spirit, it's when we stop doing Rallies they lose sight.  It's that sarcastic saying "No one know what I do until I stop doing it," they'd miss them if they were gone even though they don't attend.

While preparing for our events this year we have decided to look at each event over again and ask the hard questions. Why do we do what we do? Does it reach out to many people? Do we involve the uninvolved and if the answer is yes for all three then we contnue ... My curiosity as the Activities Director was if my students even knew what the point of a Pep Rally was other than scream and yell at lunch?

So, we turn to wikipedia again, how does the world define what we do?

Pep Rallies are events that occur primarily in the United States and Canada or other countires. A pep rally is a gathering of people, typically students of middle school, high school and college age, before a sports event. The purpose of such a gathering is to encourage school spirit and to support members of the team for which the rally is being thrown. The pep rallies are often very loud and have a lot of excitation to keep all the students excited for the upcoming game and to cheer on the team.

At a pep rally, cheerleaders will often lead in boisterous chants and dance moves intended to get the student body involved and supporting the school's team. Games between competing classes with small prizes may be held. The school's band will often play upbeat music in between demonstrations, and the drumline may play. In the case of a homecoming game, the Homecoming "court" may be chosen and announced.

This is also a time for the team captains to let the school know how their team is doing this season. Most schools have pep rallies to honor future and past events.

This was the case. We have our opening home game coming up, we wanted to present the seniors with their senior cardigans and we want to showcase the work the band, cheerleaders, ASB and athletes have been working on all summer. When my Pep Commissioner set up the event she chose 2 non ASB students to act as emcees, and after interviewing them the other day I felt they were up to the challenge. The worry always is that you are handing kids an open microphone to say what they want without a three second delay switch like they have in TV, and you're working with kids you have had no interaction on campus with until now (but as our goals ask, involve the whole campus). With the worry of open mic I chose to interview them, and using my friend Stu Shaffers advice, that I learn at our leadership camps in the summer (CADA Leadership Camps) Im pretty confident they'll pull it off.  This year the California Association of Directors of Activities is holding it's state convention in San Diego and the theme is Imagine - from thought to sketch to masterpiece, so I thought it appropriate to layout this blog to show how the campus transforms just from a thought of having a Pep Rally to the Rally itself.

What makes our rallies work? I think it's our working relation with the band program that really makes it swing. In our 50 years of History having only 3 band directors gives a grounded sense of tradition that allows flexible too. Also, as this is my 23rd year on the job, you just know what to expect. Having a Pep Commissioner that had been in ASB prior and has been in Theater Arts helps with the performance understanding, plus she's a self anointed Spaz, that helps too. Lastly organizing this from summer leadership camp, picking the right committee and doing a run through everything doesn't hurt either.  It's the 5 P's of Leadership - Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Loara truly has the spirit, we aren't concerned that all 2800 can see us, because we know they can hear us, so even if they don't watch they hear the spirit, they feel the spirit. We want to honor the school year and the Fall Athletes and the Seniors that are participating first. Once they have the buy i,n we feel the rest will follow, especially when we have our first Gym Pep Rally Assembly.

So what was the agenda at the rally?

Typical Rally Layout
"Unite to make a Memorable Year" ... ASB Theme for 2012

1 comment:

  1. That's my girl up there on her birthday! Love that yellow tie!