In the case of the annual Field Day at the Mettawee Community School (MCS), weather was the mother of invention. With temperatures tipping toward 90 degrees, the traditional game of Duck-Duck-Goose was tweaked for relief, as well as old-fashioned fun. The kids still sat in a circle, but instead of a quick tap on the head to start a race around the ring, the “goose” got a quick squeeze from a giant water-logged sponge.
“After dealing with the pandemic for over a year, it’s wonderful to see the kids outside together, enjoying a day in the sun,” said MCS Principal Brooke DeBonis. “Hearing their laughter, watching them run and jump, it’s fantastic. It looks like the staff is enjoying it all, too.”
To get all the kids moving, there were 10 activity sites spread across the MCS athletic field. Water stations and shade tents were strategically stationed throughout. The 10 groups were organized by grades and a fog horn honked every 12 minutes to signal a move to the next activity. Among the challenges was a relay race with the kids carrying wooden eggs on spoons and a game of catch using lacrosse sticks to pass wet sponges instead of balls.
There was even a requisite safety seminar by the Pawlet Fire Dept. “We were unable to hold our annual fire safety day last fall, due to Covid concerns,” DeBonis said. “I am so grateful that the volunteer firefighters in our community were willing to give up their time to attend our Field Day to educate our students about fire prevention, show the children the different parts of the fire truck, and inspire our students to become firefighters.”
The kids listened politely to the firefighters, but it was being cooled off with a real fire hose that was a big hit on a hot day. As one student exclaimed, “I loved being sprayed by the fire hose. It was my favorite part of Field Day.”
One optimistic staff member provided a great summary of the day: “It’s a little bit hot, but it sure beats zero.”