It was a wild, wet Halloween on Southport but that did not dampen spirits at Southport Central School where the second annual Pumpkin Catapult Olympics went on as scheduled.
The students were divided into six groups, who then chose a name and devised a team chant. Across the board, chants and names were imaginative: The Rockin’ Vampires, The Graveyard Ghosts, HH (a secret society who would not reveal the meaning of their name), The Screaming Pumpkins, the Ghostly Ghouls, and the White Mummies.
Once the chants had been performed, the groups went to their crafting stations where each student got the makings for a catapult: four rubber bands, two wide and two narrow craft sticks, and one plastic spoon. No instructions were provided. The older kids helped the younger ones and before long more than 30 catapults had been assembled.
Next came the all-important snack break while anxious staff members watched the skies and listened to the rain come and go. At last, at 10:05 the call went out: the 2019 Olympics would go ahead.
And so, despite the rain, which never did quite stop, the six teams went outside to test their catapults at six challenges: Hoop Shoot, Hit the Target, Great Heights, Go the Distance, Score a Bucket, and Tower Topple.
No overall winners were announced. It was too wet to keep track. But there were successes at each station, much laughter and cheering, and even though everyone was considerably wetter than when they had started, students and staff alike returned to their classrooms with big smiles.