Why the camo tradition should have stayed


Celine Huang

This is the first year that the entire Upper School is allowed to wear camo during Kinkaid Week.

As of this year, all students in the Upper School are permitted to wear camo on the Thursday of Kinkaid Week.

In the past, only varsity athletes and seniors got the privilege to dress out and stand out that day. The rest of the school accepted the tradition without question, yet now, the right has been extended to the whole student body.

As a Lifer and generally unathletic human being, I have never, not once, felt left out of this tradition. After a decade spent at this school, I have seen my fair share of all-school pep rallies and every year, I look to the seniors decked out in their camo attire and think “Man, that is going to be so fun ONCE I GET THERE.”  I sit there, perfectly content in my Kinkaid shirt and uniform skirt. For years, I have wondered, “How do all the football guys find identical red and black camo pants and where can I get some?” Not once have I ever asked, “Why don’t I get to wear that?”

The seniors storm the field in their camo, and it makes them stand out and look official. They get to run around and celebrate their last Kinkaid pep rally with a bang. If they spent years at St. John’s working through the dreaded physics projects and the general abyss that is junior year, not a bone in my body doubts their right to have a little fun all to themselves for a day.

The same goes for the varsity athletes. Freshmen and sophomores who make varsity teams are already ridiculously cool in my eyes since I haven’t pulled a muscle since I fell out of my bed seven years ago. I have always loved to see the underclassmen repping their varsity pride. They deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication to their sport, their team and our school.

Our athletes work hard and they are outstanding representatives of the St. John’s community. Our seniors have toiled endlessly in their classes and are in the middle of the college kerfuffle. Showing them respect and honor for their hard work and leadership is not even close to the worst thing we could do. In fact, I think it makes perfect sense.

I realize that the camo tradition did exclude winter and spring varsity athletes, who work just as hard as their fall counterparts. Instead of allowing everyone to wear camo, we could have instead implemented camo days before winter and spring SPC to recognize those athletes.

Camo day lasts for roughly seven hours, maybe even less after early dismissal. We should give seniors and varsity athletes the day, and we should applaud them for putting in the effort. Our athletes and seniors are worth so much more than a school day of free dress.

Besides, how would school run on Thursday if the whole student body can’t be seen?