Our Turn: We made magic
I think I use the word “magic” too much, but what happened at the Not So Scary Halloween Trail may be the closest thing to real magic I’ve ever witnessed. A group of 21 adolescents from five different advisories at Northwoods Community Secondary School (NCSS) came together to create a scene on the trail for young kids and their adults.
During the weeks prior to the trail, the students met and negotiated and finally landed on the theme of “Music.”
I come from a fairly musical family, but when I think of the music of adolescents, I shudder. I am not very in tune with the “popular” music of today, even though I teach middle school students.
They seemed to have a vision to have a Dance Off, but as we were packing up our homemade props, our painted background with paint flaking off, our malfunctioning boombox, and mostly working Christmas lights to decorate our space, I was very unclear of the vision. The kids decorated the space by surrounding the perimeter with the lights (which eventually created the magic, in my opinion).
They set up the music across the path from the stage, which coincidentally was the little wooden mini-dock set up for sit-ups or something on the YMCA trail.
They used some great Halloween themed music they had picked and that Mr. Santy, another NCSS advisor found for them, divvied up their candy, and got ready for the trail participants.
Our students dressed up as Cyndi Lauper, Miku Hatsune, Skrillex (Sonny Moore), a rock star, a rapper, a country star, a DJ, and even a speaker, and very enthusiastically welcomed and invited young trick-or-treaters onto the stage to use pretend guitars and microphones to perform and dance.
I witnessed so many students come out of their shells and come alive as they danced, sang, and laughed with groups of children and their parents. But, most of all, I witnessed the group bond and feel a part of something that I can only describe as magic. It was as if trail-walkers entered the circle of light and with that entrance, lit up themselves.
Our students exuded happiness, confidence, and generosity, and as a result, so did the trail participants. Even though it was freezing cold and we couldn’t feel our fingers, the dancing, happiness and resulting magic kept us warm on the inside. It’s experiences like the Not So Scary Halloween Trail that make me love my job, remember how cool our students are and what a difference they can make in the community, and make me proud of that magic.