Our First Chorus Tailgate!
Every spring we go to Frankie’s Fun Park (It’s like Dave and Busters, but with outdoor things like go-carts, putt-putt, bumper boats, and laser tag) after we perform at our state adjudication. It’s one of my favorite things to do, because I get a chance to just hang out with my students and have fun without worrying about class work, management, etc.
Over the summer, I was trying to cook up some ideas in the vein of “let’s just hang out” without necessarily attaching a whole field trip to it. Field trips are fun, but they’re A LOT of paperwork.
I also realize this is the pot calling the kettle black, because I’m planning 3 trips this semester alone…
My solution: Let’s do some tailgating!
We can support chorus students who participate in middle school sports, hang out together all afternoon, but not have to actually go anywhere. We can tailgate throughout the year if we plan on going to one game per middle school sport. That gives us: football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, soccer, softball, and baseball. We have several other sports that students participate in, but they meet at the high school, and that would require finding transportation :(
Don’t worry, we still love you, cross-country runners, swimmers, track stars, and lacrosse players!
My corn hole boards are John Deere themed. I got them for free, and beggars can't be choosers.
Here's What Happened
I placed a sign-up sheet on one of my clipboards. Students who wanted to stay just had to sign their name. I told them prior to the tailgate that we would hang out outside. They could also bring their own snacks, or purchase concessions at the game.
Everyone who stayed came down to my room after school. I gave them the option of leaving their bags in my room, so they wouldn’t have to carry them around, and then we walked down to the cafeteria. There’s a nice green space with picnic tables, benches, and grass there,with room for us to spread out.
Side story: When I walked by here at one point, the students playing the songs had literal elevator music on, because "no one told them what they wanted to hear"....
I brought my cornhole boards from home, some mini footballs that I keep in a drawer in my office, poster coloring materials, and my bluetooth speaker...for jams.
We stayed there and relaxed until it was time to walk over for the game. We were literally half the crowd!
We couldn't forget Janet! Kids took turns holding her up at the game.
What I Learned For Next Time
It might be better to go to the grass next to my room, instead of the cafeteria. I forgot that there would be students there staying for the game that weren’t in chorus. I felt bad they had to sit there while we were running around. Plus, my kids kept going inside to stare at the vending machines, so it was a lot to watch for one person.
It was HOT! Thankfully, our next tailgate is for Volleyball, so we won’t be outside anyway. But, if we go right outside my room, I would feel less guilty about letting students go in and out to escape the heat, get water, etc. Also, WATER. Students need to bring water bottles so they don’t get dehydrated.
I scheduled pick-up in the front of the school, because that’s where I always dismiss from. Many parents went to the actual field to pick-up their students (which was fine). It would be better to do pick-up where the game is, because that’s where the crowd is, and everyone is much more likely to stay in the same place.
Students should probably just take their book bags with them to the game. That way, I don’t have to spend the last 30-45 minutes walking them from the field to my room to get their things because they have to leave early. You guys, my phone said I walked 3 miles after school the day of the tailgate!
Warn student council if we’re coming. They ran out of concessions before halftime!
Now that I’ve gotten one tailgate under my belt, here’s to an even smoother Volleyball tailgate in a few weeks!