News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Eighth graders celebrate graduation with ‘Olympics’

Students at Sisters Middle School can go through a lot of emotions, adversity, and hardship leaving the eighth grade, especially this past year with the Class of 2025.

Having to deal with COVID-19 was beyond challenging. When you create a lot of great friends and memories at the school, it can be hard to leave.

One big thing to look forward to being an eighth-grade student and graduating is the Eighth Grade Olympics — a one-day getaway for all of the students. It consists of challenges such as running and kayaking across a lake, an outdoor scavenger hunt, a Frisbee disk challenge, and a competition where each cohort splits into two groups to create a song that the teachers vote on to choose the winner.

Each group has to make their own song with lyrics, and music equipment.

Student Jack Turpen told The Nugget, “It can be quite challenging at the Olympics, but it is a great experience for so many kids like myself.”

Once all of the competitions are over, the teaching staff adds up points to see who wins the competition.

The Eighth Grade Olympics is an opportunity to get one more great middle school experience before heading off to high school. It is a time to bond one more time with classmates. It is a very special moment for many eighth graders.

U.S. history teacher Michelle Hammer said, “Doing a final activity for the eighth grade allows for a kind of a culmination of the students’ four years at the middle school. In a normal school year, we’ve done retreats and trips that build up to the Olympics, so it was somewhat strange this year since this was the first outing/retreat for the class and we still had to compete in cohorts; but it allowed students to show how close the cohorts they have been with all year have become.

“The best thing that I observed was watching students who were reluctant to come and participate, came and had a great time,” she said. “When I asked them about their experience, they all commented, ‘It was so much more fun than I thought it would be.’ While the Eighth Grade Olympics is a competition, it’s all about working together to achieve a common goal and have fun doing it. Watching groups learn how to steer a canoe as a team or creating their team chant I hope is a memory that they will have for many years. It’s all about creating lasting memories and realizing what you can achieve.”


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