Originally started to establish a relationship between high schoolers and elementary schoolers and to make sure that elementary schoolers would not be afraid of high schoolers, Operation Pumpkin is still going strong eight years later! The program is a collaboration between the Mont Vernon Village School and the Souhegan High School Ethics Forum. The high schoolers spend weeks before planning and perfecting the day up until the very last minute. Traditionally, the day before Halloween is spent painting pumpkins and putting together last minute details. Then, on Halloween the pumpkins are delivered to elementary school along with a dance and a skit. However, this year the day ended up a little differently.
With the storms the hit New Hampshire Sunday night, school was canceled on the Monday that the Ethics Forum was supposed to paint their pumpkins. This left them with no time to paint or put together the essential last minute details that they needed. Luckily, they were able to put together plan B quickly: paint the pumpkins with the kids at MVVS. This was the first time that the Ethics Forum went to MVVS without pre-painted pumpkins, however, it made the day truly unique and more memorable for all of the elementary schoolers and high schoolers involved. And the Ethics Forum also pulled together a skit and dance as well.
This year the theme of Operation Pumpkin was Wild Things. The Ethics Forum selected the classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, as the play, complete with monsters, trees, and a cardboard boat. The dance fit with the theme as well as the Ethics Forum students danced across the gym floor to Alessia Cara’s Wild Things.
The day was filled with sounds of giggles and smiles from all involved, whether it was a kid laughing as they watched “monsters” run around the gym during the play, a high schooler smiling as they helped a kindergartener glue googly eyes onto a pumpkin, or a teaching watching as the days events carried on. The program was originally established to create relationships and eliminate fear between elementary schoolers and high schoolers, and it’s definitely safe to say that despite the setbacks at the beginning, this year’s Operation Pumpkin was a success.