Talia Cutler ’22
October 8 marks the beginning of Family Weekend at Mercersburg – a decade-old tradition filled with bonfires, Step Songs, theater, and sporting events. Acting head of school Quentin McDowell says, “We are so excited to be able to welcome families back to campus for Family Weekend after having to deliver this same programming virtually last year. Nothing compares to being together where you can really enjoy the collective energy and enthusiasm of seeing first hand what students are experiencing at school.”
COVID-19 remains a significant element of consideration in the planning of this weekend’s events. Last year’s Family Weekend was presented virtually, and so many students have never experienced a Family Weekend in person. Student Body President Avo Reid ‘22 says, “It was a little weird organizing an event I have never actually participated in, but the rest of the student council was assiduously helpful in the process. COVID casts a dark shadow over pretty much everything it touches, but we tried to make the programming as far out of the pandemic’s clutches as possible.” This year there will be a strict mask mandate both indoors and outdoors on campus for families as well as students and staff as a precaution against the pandemic.
The weekend also serves as a time in which Mercersburg students can support one another. Monique Garcia, Class of ‘22 President, says, “As a senior, I’m so glad to be able to do this one last time. I also love that there’s so many games and sports events going on so I can stop by and watch my friends play.” The weekend serves to connect students and families on the beautiful Mercersburg campus. Elliott Stein ‘23 says, “What family weekend really means is community and reconnection, as well as bridging the gap from the old life to the new.”
In addition to the class visits, performances, and informational events, each class is sponsoring a Mercersburg swag fundraiser during the weekend. The class of ‘25 is selling bucket hats, and the class of ‘24 is selling Mercersburg socks. The students in the class of ‘23 will sell travel mugs, while the class of ‘22 will be selling tie-dyed Mercersburg t-shirts. The fundraisers are taking place Saturday and Sunday afternoons outside of the Hale Field House.
While the student council will play a large role in the class fundraisers, the details have primarily been left to the administration. McDowell says, “Even in a typical year it takes a tremendous amount of planning and work to host any event of this size and nature. We have a tremendous events team that partners with all facets of our school community to make sure we are delivering the best possible programming in the safest way.”
With so many students and returning families having never experienced a traditional Family Weekend, the Mercersburg community is eagerly anticipating the events. McDowell says, “I love seeing our student’s families and having the chance to connect meaningfully with those that have chosen to enroll their children at Mercersburg. It is a chance to get to know our broader community better and to show families how incredible the student experience is at a school like ours.”