Snow happens: On-campus Winter Wonderland caravan cancelled


Photo credit: Anna Brodsky

Archer’s very own mascot, the Panther, poses in front of a Winter Wonderland poster from a previous celebration on campus. Due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, this year’s Winter Wonderland caravan was cancelled until further notice.

By Vaughan Anoa'i, Editor in Chief

As the surge of COVID-19 cases continues to increase within Los Angeles County, holiday cheer and festivities moved online as the newly mandated stay-at-home order went into effect. For Archer faculty and students, this meant the cancellation of the Winter Wonderland caravan, hosted by Student Council (StuCo) and Archer’s Parent Association (APA).

The caravan event was going to be a combination of supply pick-up and holiday festivities; however due to the cancellation, Archer students had a week of virtual Winter Wonderland activities, later followed by a contactless supply pick up taking place next week.

“Winter Wonderland is one of my favorite traditions at Archer. From hot cocoa and gingerbread house decorating to latkes, the festivities designed by student government never fail to delight,” Associate Head of School Karen Pavliscak wrote in a recent email. “Before the recent rise in infection rates and state mandated stay-at-home order, the dream was to create a safe car caravan to share a bit of the Archer magic.”

Echoing Pavliscak’s sentiments, Eileen Finney, current Student Council adviser and middle school faculty member, described the planning process that went into this “special” event, prior to the recent cancellation.

“We were going to combine the pickup of the supplies with a simulated Winter Wonderland. We were going to decorate the grounds of the school and have different stations where they could stop,” Finney said. “Mr. Carter was putting together, with the robotics class, an arm to drop goodie bags for everybody, with cocoa bombs in them, and some treats.”

Student Body President Francesca Cappello (’21) said she was ready to take advantage of this opportunity prior to its later cancellation, and to find any way to prompt connection amidst the pandemic.

“We were going to try and see if we could figure out a way to bring some seniors in small groups back onto campus kind of as a surprise for the other grades. We were going to decorate the whole front and back of the school in true Winter Wonderland essence and give out little goody bags along with everyone’s school supplies,” Cappello said. “We just had a few random and small things to bring everyone together.”

Looking to the future, Finney said she felt “hopeful” in relation to potential caravan opportunities in the second semester, in the event that the current stay at home order becomes lifted.

“I think we’re still going to plan something for wintertime. We’re still going to keep our hopes up, and we’ll see what we come up with,” Finney said. “Like a way to connect that’s not necessarily on Zoom – a personal connection.”

In regards to the cancellation itself, Cappello said she was most looking forward to being on campus once again, as well as seeing everyone in person, and not just through her computer screen.

“I was definitely most looking forward to having an excuse to be on campus and see everyone even if it was just through a car window,” Cappello said. “In COVID times it’s really, really nice just to see everyone’s faces in real life even if it’s through a window and to be able to see all of our teachers dressed up and the campus all decorated, I was definitely looking forward to the spirit of it all.”

Regardless, Pavliscak said she still felt “eager” to have a caravan of some capacity, whenever it is deemed safe to do so.

“We are eager to have a spirited Archer caravan — when it is safe to do so — next semester that is designed by STUCO along with the class of 2021’s magic,” Pavliscak wrote. “Keep an eye out!”