On day three of the homecoming activities, the theme was red or “child day.” The queen candidates traveled to Rock Bridge Elementary School to play with the children during their morning recess.
“We got to do the kindergarten, first grade, and second grade [recess] shifts,” candidate senior Morgan Bumby said. “We just asked what they wanted to do and did it. They all love the monkey bars, swinging, duck duck goose, and I even got to braid some hair.”
All of the candidates said they had a great time playing with the kids and enjoyed having the kids pull them around and show them the different play equipment. Candidate senior Taylour Wilson said she tried to do the monkey bars, but the kids were much better at it.
“It was so much fun. I love kids, so that was a blast,” candidate Leia Tarbox said. “I’ve also worked with some of those kids before at church and it was fun to see familiar faces while reliving my glory days on the playground. Tether ball champ of 2006 right here.”
Although the trip did not last long, the experience with elementary-age children made enough of an impact on all of the girls. At the end of the event, departing was difficult, but each of the candidates said they would love to go back to Rock Bridge Elementary soon.
“Although at first I didn’t know how the kids would like us, after the first five minutes we were having so much fun,” candidate Morgan Widhalm said. “It was heartbreaking to have to leave each group at the end of their 15 minute recess to their pleas to, ‘Come to lunch with us!’ or, ‘Will you come back to second recess?’”
Even though the trip to the elementary school was organized as a homecoming activity, Tarbox plans to keep her promises to the children and return to Rock Bridge Elementary soon.
“I would definitely do it again; in fact, I have to,” Tarbox said. “I promised some of my little buddies I’d be back.”
With all of the stress associated with being a senior in high school, the transition to a carefree, playful environment was an easy one for the candidates to make. Having the opportunity to bond with the children and play with the equipment allowed the girls to have some fun while simultaneously giving back to the community.
“Man, I’ve missed recess. Having an hour to just be a kid again was wonderful,” candidate Annie Rumpf said, “and the kids of RB elementary were so welcoming.”
By Alyssa Piecko