GREENFIELD — Greenfield-Central seniors spent all night at the school Thursday night for the senior class campout, reviving a fun tradition not seen at the school since 2018.
“With the pandemic we missed the opportunity to schedule a lot of things over the past two yeas, so we’re really happy to be able to have this experience,” said Kaylee Stinnett, a member of the senior class council that helped plan the event.
“It’s just one last time we can all spend time together as a senior class,” said another council member, Ellei Coleman.
About 100 seniors chose to spend the night at the school, snacking on pizza and playing cornhole and other games, all set to the backdrop of music played by local DJ Jonathan Hudson, who teaches radio and TV at the school.
The campout was originally set to take place on the high school football field — with boys sleeping on one end and girls on the other — but latenight storms sent the party indoors to the auxiliary gym around 1 a.m..
The rain didn’t dampen students spirits, however.
Derek Noah was all smiles playing Spikeball with friends, happy for one last chance to hang out as a senior class before graduating on June 4.
Having a brother and sister who had most of their senior class events canceled due to COVID in 2020, Noah said he was thankful to have experienced milestone moments like the campout and the senior lunch, when students were able to take a two-hour lunch off campus last week.
As students checked into the campout Thursday night, Stinnett anticipated that most of the group would stay awake all night until the campout was over at 6 a.m.
The seniors then headed home to get dressed up for the senior brunch, which took place in the school gym at 10 a.m. Friday. The annual event features a breakfast served by the school cafeteria staff and slideshow of pictures submitted by parents.
Senior class sponsor Jennifer Holzhausen, who teaches English at the school, said the senior campout kicks off a culmination of events leading up to graduation, which can be an emotional thing for outgoing seniors.
“Everything starts to get real for them tomorrow (at the senior brunch),” Holzhausen said on Thursday night.
“The campout is a big tradition, but in the way it’s the beginning of the end for this group,” she said.
Senior Sam Hall was thankful to pull an all-nighter with friends on Thursday before preparing to join the Marine reserves after graduation. He plans to study architecture at Ball State University next year, but was happy to pack as many memories as possible into his senior year at Greenfield-Central High School.
“I took a really easy senior year (of classes) so I could really enjoy it,” he said.
Coleman expressed gratitude for the teachers and administrators who volunteered to make Thursday’s senior campout a reality.
“A lot of the staff was almost excited about it as the students,” she said, especially since the campout was canceled due to rain in 2019, and canceled due to COVID the past two years.
Volunteers signed up for three-hour shifts to chaperone the all-night gathering at the school, including Coleman’s mom, assistant principal Susie Coleman.
“I was smart and signed up for the early shift,” she said with a smile, as seniors trickled into the doors with backpacks in hand, excited to make one last night of memories with friends.