The middle school’s recent Harker Harvest Hootenanny was the first spirit event of the school year for students in grades 6-8. Held out on the field of the Blackford campus, the fun afternoon assembly gave middle school students a sneak peek at some of the games that will be played at the upcoming Harker Harvest Festival, the school’s 63rd annual Family & Alumni Picnic.
Gathering by house and advisories, the students listened to information about the upcoming festival before participating in three field games: a barnyard animal impression contest, potato sack race and spoon balancing competition. The games were set up as advisory versus advisory events, with the winners of each going on to represent their house in further contests. The overall winning house received special spirit points and got to go to lunch first on the next school day.
“It was the first major event to make use of our new house parents – volunteers who help us with various house activities and spirit events,” reported middle school English teacher Mark Gelineau, who helped organize the hootenanny.
Gelineau explained that there are four houses in the middle school, with students placed in a house by their advisory and remaining there during their entire middle school duration. Each house contains students from every grade, with house names coming from the Harker school seal.
The four middle school houses are Praestantia, which means excellence, and is symbolized by a lion; Scientia, which stands for knowledge, illustrated by a dragon; Beneficium, meaning service, depicted by a knight; and Constantia, for character, represented by a horse.
According to Gelineau, each advisory chose students to be their representatives for the potato-sack race, the spoon carry, and the barnyard animal impression contest.
“With all four houses cheering them on, the potato-sack racers were a vision of speed and grace as they hopped and shambled across the field, but ultimately, it was Praestantia House that took that event. The spoon race involved balancing a golf ball on a spoon and running as quickly as possible without dropping it. Beneficium House took the glory there. Then finally, for the barnyard animal impression contest, incredibly convincing pig noises sealed it for Praestantia House, giving them overall victory,” said Gelineau.