Homecoming has its traditions that stretch from coast to coast, including a parade, spirit week, a dance, even welcoming back former and current members of high school, and above all, the big game. The well-known football game between two rival schools is a classic homecoming tradition, in fact, it was the very first tradition.
The NCAA credits the University of Missouri with the first homecoming event starting in the year 1911. Chester Brewer, Mizzou’s Athletic Director, invited alumni to “come home” for the annual game against the University of Kansas. The event drew over 10,000 alumni and fans for a weekend of speeches, rallies, dances, and a parade, with the big game as the weekend’s center point. Steadily over the years, more and more traditions were created for this festive school event including spirit week, music over the intercom, and decorating the locker bays.
Crowning the Homecoming King and Queen is a classic tradition amongst schools, but should it continue? Michigan Highschool believes that it was outdated and decided to dump the crown. Their students and staff agree that the celebration of “coming home” shouldn’t be associated with a popularity or beauty contest among students. Michigan High then changed the standards to an “excellence” recognition for each grade. The students say that it helps to shift their values to something to better represent the school and what it stands for. Perhaps Camas high should make the adjustments as well.
In the beginning, Homecoming has been a grand celebration kept by students and staff; but has the feeling remained? Do students and staff still have the love like they used to? Matthew Gonzalez, a sophomore at Camas High, believes it’s a scam to take students’ money to stand in a large “sweaty room.” Though he mentions that it’d be a remarkably enjoyable experience “if they didn’t host it at school and rented out a larger venue.” Although homecoming is a school event, perhaps other students feel homecoming would be more enjoyable this way.
Upon asking how the homecoming experience could be improved, Angie Glasser, a sophomore at Camas, suggested the music could have a larger than songs with an intense bass, a wider variety of food that isn’t cookies and water, as well lighting that doesn’t hurt your eyes, unlike the strobe lights and lasers. Glasser also made the suggestion that the homecoming dance has “a dance atmosphere rather than having a club atmosphere, which is what they actually have.”
Mr. Tim Fox, the associate principal, signs off and approves ASB’s proposals for homecoming activities, disk jockeys, food, and much more. Upon asking for the best way to improve the homecoming experience, Mr. Fox responded with: “For us, it’s always just trying to get feedback from the kids about what they want and about what entices them to come… we just want the students to know that we want homecoming to be an opportunity for them to just have fun and to build positive experiences here at school; its one of those things that we hope to continue to try to evolve to reach all of our kids.”
Overall, homecoming is more than just a football game, more than a school dance, and more than an after party. It is a time when alumni from around the country return to their alma maters, a school that one once attended, or is currently attending, to reconnect with people, places, and traditions. It is a place where they relive their memories they once made before, and to make a new.