The fifth grade traveled to Lexington on Friday, May 13, 2011, to compete in an Olympic pentathalon fashioned after the original Olympics in Greece. This annual event draws Waldorf schools from around the region for a day of festive competition that complements the fifth grade study of Greek history and mythology. Thank you to parent Scott Harlan for sharing this report from the big day. (Photos by S. Harlan and J. Poore.)
The warm, sunny spring day and beautiful, green setting provided the perfect conditions to watch the festival unfold. This year, about 100 fifth graders from area Waldorf schools gathered in Lexington. The participating schools were: the Waldorf School of Cape Cod (Cotuit MA), the Meadowbrook School (West Kingston, RI), the Monadnock Waldorf School (Keene, NH), Ecole L’Eau Vive (Montreal, Canada), Cape Ann Waldorf School, and the host school, the Waldorf School of Lexington. This is the 24th year that the Waldorf School of Lexington has hosted this event (and it is the school’s 40th anniversary this year).
After each school presented an offering to Zeus, students recited the Oath to Zeus to pledge good sportsmanship. Then, students warmed up and were mixed into ancient Greek city-states. Each city-state rotated through the events of the traditional pentathalon: the javelin, the discus, the long jump, wrestling, and two running events, the fifty-yard dash and the long run.
Following the initial round of events, students were recognized based on their performance, and then invited to compete in a final round at each event. Five CAWS fifth graders were invited to compete in specific events: Jenna Hoch (javelin, discus); Matthew Rugo (long jump); Spencer Poore (javelin (left)); Matthew McGaunn (discus, wrestling); Brendan Harlan (discus, wrestling).
At the closing ceremony, laurel wreaths were awarded to some students to recognize their speed, distance, and form in the events. Every student received an authentic Greek coin to honor their participation.
My son, Brendan, was thrilled to take part in this Waldorf tradition and my family enjoyed watching as much of the action as possible. As a volunteer City-State parent, I escorted one group to each of the six stations/events while carrying the Thebes banner along the way. This role provided a fun way to be near the action as well as a chance to get to meet some of the students. All in all, a great day! —Scott Harlan