The Wm. E. Hay student council held their annual carnival on Thursday, April 13. School clubs had stations set up at various locations throughout the school, offering family-oriented activities such as face painting, musical chairs and balloon animals.
The carnival is an annual event that the school hosts in order to give back to the community, explained Shonna Burkard, one of the student council teacher liasons.
There is a fundraiser element to the event, but ultimately, the goal is to serve the community, she said.
“The students make a bit of money that goes to their clubs,” Burkard stated.
Ultimately, though, the students “just want to break even and offer something for the community,” she added.
One of the stations, run by the Gay Straight Alliance, was a “pie in the face” station, where school resource officer Constable John McNickle had volunteered to be on the receiving end of the pies.
McNickle has only been the school resource officer since May of last year, which means that this was his first school carnival.
Despite being a newcomer, however, McNickle wasn’t shy about joining in on the festivities with students.
“They asked me to join in and I figured it sounded like fun,” he said.
At another station, the junior and senior jazz bands hosted a game of musical chairs accompanied by live music.
“The students get pretty excited about playing for the little ones,” said band teacher Eric Rahn, who conducted the band from behind a keyboard.
All of the activities were geared towards families with small children, although some had a serious message attached.
At the “so you think you can drive” station, participants were invited to don a pair of goggles that mimic the effects of intoxication and then attempt to navigate an obstacle course either on foot or on a bicycle.
The activity “brings to life the realities of what it’s like driving impaired,” explained student Gracie Morbeck.
Participants could choose different goggles to experience different levels of intoxication, from sleepiness to full-on intoxication, which led to some surprising results, according to Morbeck.
“If you drive tired it’s almost like being drunk,” she said. “So that’s an eye opener to some people.”
Hosting events such as this one is important because it gets the community involved, and because it gets students working together, Burkard said.
“It gets the whole school involved,” she commented, “and it’s a fun night.”