From February 18 to 22, Blair students of all class years will come together for the 16th-annual Headmasters’ Societies Games, a fun and sometimes silly competition in which the school is randomly divided into four teams named after former headmasters: Breed, Howard, Kelley and Sharpe.
The festivities kicked off at Monday School Meeting, where Head of School Chris Fortunato officially opened the 2019 games and wished students and faculty luck in the lead-up to Friday evening’s decisive talent show, an event that inevitably determines the winning team. He thanked members of the Junior Class Council, who have taken a leading role in helping the student life office plan the 2019 Games, designing gear for each team and creating an exciting way to tell new students to which team they had been “sorted.”
“We came up with riddles that new students will have to solve in order to figure out which team they are on,” said Kate Antonelli ’20, a member of Team Breed who is most looking forward to this year’s water polo competition. “Figuring out the riddle gives them a location where they can meet the rest of their team, and it was a really fun way to kick off the start of Headmasters’ Week!”
The Junior Class Council worked hard on new clothing designs for the four teams, which will be unveiled throughout the week. “Being involved in planning and design has been a really fun and good learning experience,” said Savannah Lee ’20. “Everybody has so many amazing ideas that are going to make Headmasters’ Week spectacular!”
Kate and her fellow members of the Junior Class Council agree. “Planning Headmasters’ has been really fun and it definitely got me in the Headmasters’ Games spirit,” Kate concluded.
This year’s events, of course, will benefit enormously from the opening of the winter sports complex, affectionately known on campus as the “Blair Bubble,” which encloses a portion of the tennis center during the coldest months of the year and features two tennis courts and a temporary turf field. The climate-controlled space will host a range of Headmasters’ competitions that will bring the whole community together.
And nothing brings Blair students and teachers together better than the Headmasters’ Games, which brighten a dreary time on campus as the winter sports season ends and students prepare to leave campus for spring break. 2019 co-commissioners and associate deans of students Andee Ryerson and Caroline Wilson hope students of every age see the Games as an opportunity to try something new and embrace the chance to step outside of their comfort zones.
“I always hear new students saying ‘I'm not good at volleyball, so I'm not going to play’ or something along those lines, and it takes them a few years to realize that it really doesn't matter,” said Mrs. Ryerson. “Participation is so important. If your team has enough players—sure, bow out—but if they don't, it's silly to worry about your skill because even a poor player is better than no player, and the other teams are dealing with the same thing, so it's all inexperienced players together!”
In fact, when asked what one word comes to mind when they think of the Games, the co-commissioners don’t hesitate: plain and simple “fun.” “Truly, that’s what the Games are all about,” said Ms. Wilson. “Loosening up, taking a break, meeting new people and good old-fashioned fun.”