Spirited events could transition into traditions

Grace+Jung+%28%2718%29%2C+Paige+Johnson+%28%2718%29%2C+Emily+Levitt+%28%2718%29%2C+Lydia+Naughton+%28%2718%29%2C+and+Kristen+Mitchell+%28%2718%29%2C+celebrate+the+start+of+the+year+at+Dulaney+High+School%27s+annual+senior+barbecue.+Students+have+been+painting+the+rock+since+1965.+

Photo provided by Kristen Mitchell

Grace Jung ('18), Paige Johnson ('18), Emily Levitt ('18), Lydia Naughton ('18), and Kristen Mitchell ('18), celebrate the start of the year at Dulaney High School's annual senior barbecue. Students have been painting the rock since 1965.

Anna Jerrems, Reporter

From the ringing of the cowbells, to watching the bull mascot dance, there are plenty of ways that Hereford is spirited. But what goes back a little further than spirit? Tradition. Are there any traditions that have reigned tried and true for decades? Here are some schools that do.

At Notre Dame Preparatory school, the twelfth graders have followed the same spring tradition for years.

“The seniors write letters to each and every one of their classmates,” graduate of NDP Paige Cook said.

“We gathered in the gym to put the letters in each other’s baskets, and at the end we got to read all of the personal notes from our friends. It’s a tradition that every senior class gets to participate in,” Cook said. “I still have the letters I was given; it was really special and meaningful.”

An annual custom that Dulaney High School seniors follow is decorating rocks outside of their school with their names and class color.

“To kick off the year, we have the Senior Barbeque where we eat food, and paint the rocks,” Dulaney High School senior Kristen Mitchell said.

This tradition has been followed religiously since 1965, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“The painting of the rocks is definitely the most unique event because each year the seniors throw paint at each other and get to leave their mark on Dulaney,” Mitchell said.

Traditions are often completely original and creative.

“I am especially looking forward to the Senior Follies, which is a night I’ve heard tons of stories about. It’s a dinner where Calvert Hall brings in a hypnotist, who at the least, is extremely convincing,” Calvert Hall senior Yianni Collector said.

Memorable field trips or retreats also serve as a rite of passage for students to experience at Calvert Hall.

“Each grade has their own retreat, which are mainly aimed at strengthening the brotherhood between students and our relationships with the community,” Collector said.

Retreats have religious aspects to them, but are mainly focused on connecting students to one another at a deeper level. This promotes a stronger sense of identity and pride towards a school.

On his retreat, students “met in groups to discuss topics that pertained to our lives,” Collector said. “Through these groups I was able to learn a lot about my friends and open up about my own personal life.”

Nicole Maffei graduated from Maryvale Preparatory School, where traditions are constantly practiced.

“Every class picked its own a set of colors, and then the whole school was divided into either red or gray, which is where I got some of the inspiration to see if we can bring the school more together in certain events by separating [students] into maroon or white,” Maffei said.

Spirited events could transition into traditions students will look forward to partaking in annually.

“We have so many talented students here, that I just wanted to see our student body step it up a notch, and really be going to all these events and supporting each other,” Maffei said. “I’m hoping that Team White and Team Maroon take off a little more, not to take away from the traditions that we already have, but to build up more school spirit.”

Hereford students can look forward to the Best Buddies Talent Show and another spirited event in April, and attend spring sports games.

“I hope the mascot continues to be a beloved Hereford figure for forever, because I think Brutus is awesome, and the community members really enjoy seeing him, not just at school events but at community events,” Maffei said.

Whether it’s a senior barbeque or talking to a hypnotist, traditions that are passed down and eagerly followed bond students together and make high school more memorable.