You may think Homecoming is all fun and games, but in reality, it’s your opportunity to show your appreciation for everything your school has done for you. Think about it… where else can you go to find a huge selection of sports, clubs, and activities to choose from, as well as friends and trusted adults to rely on? And that’s not even mentioning your education! So before you run out to pull pranks on your teachers “in honor of homecoming,” make sure that you know the true meaning of this traditional holiday.
What does Homecoming really mean? Sure, you know it has to do with school spirit, but how did it get to be called Homecoming? Actually, the tradition dates all the way back to 1911. The athletic director and football coach of Missouri University, Chester Brewer, challenged former MU students to “come back home” to Missouri for the annual football game against the University of Kansas, their biggest rival. Former students came from all different states to watch the game and show their loyalty to their alma mater. Ever since then, schools all over the U.S. have been honoring the tradition, and Homecoming is still going strong today.
So now that you know the origin of Homecoming, it’s time to figure out how you can express what it means to you and your school. There are tons of great ways to celebrate this time-honored tradition. Here you can find some great traditions to make this Homecoming one to remember!
Join the Homecoming committee at your school. That way, you can personally assure the student body that this Homecoming will be the best one yet. Not sure how to get involved? Ask someone in the Student Council or Student Government Association how you can help. If your school doesn’t already have a Homecoming committee, ask about starting one!
Once you join the Homecoming Committee, you’ll be able to give others ideas on how to get the student body involved. Here are a few ideas that are guaranteed to be a hit at Homecoming.
Themes are a great way to get everyone involved in the Homecoming festivities. In addition to having a Homecoming theme, it is also tons of fun to have “dress up days” all week to accommodate the Homecoming theme. The theme for Homecoming is bound to go over well as long as people have an easy way to honor it. For instance, some people may shy away from dressing in head-to-toe Homecoming attire.
On the flip side, if people can show their school spirit by wearing a simple accessory like a hat or a necklace, they will most likely be more prone to do it. If it’s in the school budget, consider buying small inexpensive accessories for people to wear so that if they “forgot” to dress up for Homecoming on theme day, they can do it once they get to school.
Posters, banners, and signs are a must for Homecoming week. Whether they’re sporting your theme or declaring the top 10 reasons why your school is the best, decorations are a fun way to remind everyone what Homecoming is about.
One of the best ways to encourage everyone to decorate is to have a “hall competition”. Every grade is assigned a different hall in the school to decorate, and the grade that has the best looking hall at the beginning of homecoming week is announced the winner of the hall competition, which is just a small part of the Homecoming festivities.
Nothing is better to lift your spirits at Homecoming than a friendly competition to get everyone involved and feeling great. Hold as many contests as you can, from which grade shows the most school spirit by dressing up for Homecoming to who decorates the best looking float for the final procession. Then, whichever grade wins the most competitions can be declared the official Homecoming winner.
Aside from your Homecoming Pep Rally, try an annual “powder-puff” football game. Organize teams from each grade to play against each other. Then, have two “preliminary” games to decide who will play in the “finals.” Whichever grade wins the finals racks up yet another point in the Homecoming competition.
The Big Game
With all the excitement going on, make sure no one forgets to attend the big game! It doesn’t really matter whether you win or lose - as long as everyone comes to support your school, Homecoming is bound to be a huge hit!