Bringing Spirit Back to BFA

Foreign Language Teachers:  Lydia Batten, James Thurber and Kristi Waite.
Photo credit: Jenny Parent

Foreign Language Teachers: Lydia Batten, James Thurber and Kristi Waite. Photo credit: Jenny Parent

Adelyne Collin, Writer

From Oct. 26 to Oct. 30th, the Bellows Free Academy Athletic Council conducted a student spirit week for the Blue and Green groups. Nate Archambault and Mary Tourville, with the Student Council, and Mary Brouillette, Dan Marlow and Shawn Lefebvre with the Athletic Council, worked together to create the week. According to BFA’s Athletic Director, Dan Marlow, their goal was to think outside the box to create an inclusive atmosphere for students during an isolating time. Respecting Covid-19 restrictions and being safe while having fun at school events is an important part of the Athletic Council’s and Student Council’s goal for 2020.

According to Marlow, spirit week was an opportunity to bring more enthusiasm and energy back to BFA, so students could be safe while being included.  Spirit week is an event BFA has done for years, and it’s still an event students can participate in with the new rules around Covid-19. Marlow was enthusiastic about the significance of hosting a spirit week to help turn hybrid-learning into a positive experience.  “Let’s take what we can do, and make something positive happen, let’s get people involved, get the two groups working together,” said Marlow. 

With no pep-rally at the beginning of the school year, the Athletic Council wanted to figure out a way to bring out that same energy in students in a different way. The most important aspect of pep-rallies is the feeling of unity among the student body.  Knowing what the restrictions are and knowing what needs of students are, can allow new ideas of spirit to come into play. Restrictions such as social distancing and wearing masks prevent pep-rallies and attending football games at full capacity, but spirit week was a good compromise.  “We want to make something happen, and want to make your [high school] experience the best it can possibly be,” said Marlow.

In addition to spirit week, the Athletic Council hosted a student field day on Nov. 6th at the Collins Perley Complex. Students have not been allowed to attend soccer and football games due to rules around Covid-19. Rather than allowing a portion of the student body to attend BFA’s annual homecoming football games, the Athletic Council figured out a way to include everybody by opening up the opportunity to include all students to have fun playing broomball, volleyball and badminton. This way, all students could have fun while not worrying about restrictions.

“We tried to encompass as many people, kids in the school, as possible. That way [we’re] inclusive rather than exclusive,” Marlow said. 

Spirit week and field day were prompted by the idea of getting students involved in school activities again. “Don’t let what we can’t do interfere with what we can do,” Marlow said. Roadblocks and obstacles have been difficult to overcome with the hybrid-learning and alternatives in school-activities, but both the Athletic and Student Council have worked together to accomplish new ways to have fun, have energy and be enthusiastic both in and out of BFA. The motive of hosting a spirit week was to try to bring back normalcy, have fun and raise the spirits of students.

“Refuse to let anybody throw a wet blanket on top of your ideas so they can’t catch fire,” Marlow said.