Halloween Hits Campus; Late Fall Celebrations

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As the trees shed their fall colors, the bare branches catch more of the moonlight. The sunsets creep earlier, frosts stretch across the lawns, and campus grows subtly quieter. It can be both a beautiful and eerie time of year in New England. With Thanksgiving still weeks away, the attention of our community turns to Halloween, the Fall Equinox, and other locally celebrated events such as harvest festivals, corn mazes, apple picking, and fairs. In particular, Halloween provides inspiration for several activities on campus. From costumes to dances, trick or treating to scary movies, here is an inside preview at this year’s Halloween festivities.

The Perfect Costume

Costumes play a big role in our celebrations. Students are encouraged to wear them to the annual Halloween dance, hosted on campus in Memorial Hall, and of course when trick-or-treating. The costume contest held during school meeting is a highlight for all. Each year, students and faculty alike compete for best costumes in various categories, such as best group costume, most original, scariest, and others. This is also a fun way to experience a non-typical class dress day as the costumes travel from school meeting to classes and the dining hall. Costumes vary from homemade creations to the latest trends from movies and pop culture. This year, students have the option of hunting for the perfect upcycled costume during a thrift shop excursion.

Students enjoy heading to school meeting to see the rest of the classmates and teachers in costumes.

To the movies, or to the playhouse

Another common way to celebrate Halloween is by watching scary or spooky movies with friends in the dorms or at local theaters as a weekend activity. This year, local theater is also an option as The Winnipesaukee Playhouse stages The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Set in the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, the story has captured audiences’ imaginations since it was first published in 1820. The Irving classic tells the story of a quaint village filled with wonder and strangeness with the legend of a mighty headless horseman. Students have the option to go to the play during weekend activities and learn more about this tale featuring Ichabod Crane. In addition, several New Hampton School students have a connection to the play—Todd Hamlett appears in the cast, while Eva Petschek and Makoto Komine assisted with lighting design.

Pumpkin carving ranges from old-school jack-o-lanterns to modern carving masterpieces.

Setting the Scene

Other fun games and traditions run throughout the next week including pumpkin carving, contests, and caramel apple decorating. Students also experience a greater depth to the family atmosphere on campus as the youngest members of our community, the faculty children, venture out with their parents, winding their way between the houses on campus to trick-or-treat. These moments, along with decor on campus, set the stage for a classic Halloween. Bales of hay, cornstalks, pumpkins, mums, and gourds, offer a harvest-inspired look in corners, beneath welcoming signs, on house porches, and in common rooms. Faculty, students, families, and pups alike will partake in and enjoy many of these activities.

Bentley Williams displays one of his favorite Halloween costumes from his enviable collection of gear.

Last of the fall celebrations

With fall rapidly coming to a close, our school community is enjoying all that our area has to offer. Powder Keg and Thanksgiving Break linger on the horizon and help us reflect on the school year so far. Looking back at Orientation Trips, September’s Harvest Moon night, Voices of New Hampton, Service Learning Day, Foliage Day, and all of the bonding experiences we have experienced together as a community, we are particularly grateful for how each of us has gone “All In”. We look forward to not only the treats of the season but the rewards of finishing a strong fall in the weeks ahead.

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