This school year is unlike any other as many social opportunities have been diminished by the pandemic. Consequently, maintaining the close-knit community of Concord Academy has been a constant struggle. Fortunately, CA holds weekend events in order to ensure students, especially those new to the community, are engaged with each other.
A favorite event among Freshmen this year are Quad Socials, especially when they are catered. When asked about his enjoyment of Quad Socials, Jasper Perlis ‘24 said, “It’s nice to be able to socialize with people on my own”. Meeting new people in a structured environment can be an awkward experience, especially for new students. Thankfully, Quad Socials have diminished that awkwardness. Concord Academy has hosted a few Quad Socials in the first semester where students can use the unstructured time to socialize, play lawn games, and sometimes, meet with various clubs on campus.
One of the more memorable Quad Socials was when CA brought in a few different food trucks, including Cookie Monstah, Dels Lemonade, and Grub Guru. My personal favorite was Cookie Monstah, as I really enjoyed the variety of Ice Cream Sandwiches you can choose from. Another time, CA hosted a nighttime Quad Social where a Ben and Jerry’s food truck came and students were able to get a cup of hot chocolate and baked goods.
I personally enjoy unstructured events, but many students prefer a structured social environment. Concord Academy has hosted a variety of both structured and unstructured events, one of the most popular being the Grit ‘N Wit competition. Grit ‘N Wit is an exciting obstacle course-based competition that has participants compete in intellectual and physical challenges. According to Elyse Barry ‘24, Grit ‘N Wit creates an atmosphere where students can have “fun having friendly rivalries”. Friendly rivalries are a key part of CA’s collaborative nature, as students create bonds competing alongside their teammates.
While there are only four months left in the school year, there are still plenty more weekend events to be held. Some students hope that CA will offer more opportunities for team-based activities. Brennan Biemann ‘24 expressed a desire for CA to host all-campus games like Capture the Flag. Holding campus-wide events may also help new students get to know the campus better.
Concord Academy’s campus has so much space that it might even be possible to offer a structured event while keeping the Quad open for unstructured socialization. Allowing students the opportunity to come to campus for both structured and unstructured activities could attract more students. These weekend events provide students a chance to get to know each other, which makes them a vital part of the CA community during this era of isolation.