May Day Preview

Lakesiders may be glad to hear that Stud Gov, which has frequently been critiqued on the basis of seemingly having done nothing the entire year, has in fact planned one of the biggest events of the year: May Day, taking place on Monday, May 16th. This yearly tradition has existed at Lakeside for quite a while, with its existence recorded in the Tatler archives since at least 1992. Due to COVID, the activities of the past two May Days were rather different from what had previously occurred, with the 2020 event canceled and the 2021 event split into remote and in-person activities to accommodate all the students participating in remote learning. This year’s May Day, despite COVID’s continued existence, seems more promising.

Around the end of March, Stud Gov sent out an email on the topic of themes for May Day. As revealed afterwards in a promotional video, the theme picked was Summer Camp, conjuring up images of students masquerading as campers frolicking outside on a lovely day out in the summer sun. As one of Stud Gov’s main events of the year, May Day is traditionally organized by the Stud Gov representatives. This year, the sixteen reps are divided into eight committees with 4-5 people in each committee named after the first eight letters of the alphabet: Apparel, Bouncies, Cake, Decorations, Entertainment, Food/Clubs, and Games. Each of these is in charge of a different aspect of May Day.

Traditionally, May Day has usually been a much-needed respite from work, an opportunity to connect with friends and have fun in various activities.

For instance, the Apparel Committee is responsible for t-shirt designs, orders, and pricing. Those diligent in checking emails (hopefully at least some of you reading this article) may recall that they requested designs on April 7th, sent out voting for submitted designs on April 21st, and announced the winning design on the 26th. The t-shirts, designed by Bryan C. ’24, were greeted warmly. Less welcome was how the shirts are priced, with the short-sleeved shirts costing $17 and the long-sleeved shirts $23. The deadline for shirt orders has passed, but if you forgot to order a shirt, don’t worry—they will be available for sale on May Day the day of. Shirts are free, however, for middle schoolers—the rationale behind this is that, contrary to popular belief, Stud Gov does not have an unlimited budget, nor does the administration cover all of their costs. 

But fear not! While the shirts aren’t free, the activities certainly are. As a quintessential part of May Day, the inflatables are making their annual comeback. The Bouncies Committee has been hard at work planning. This year, the student-favorite bouncy houses will be back from Merry Makers, although to become more sustainable (and also probably because the administration doesn’t want to pay an enormously inflated water bill), Lakeside will not have running water in the bouncy houses like they did in years past—instead, there will be a dunk tank. A determination as to who or what will be dunked has not been made yet…

In addition, the Cake and Games Committees have been planning their own fun activities. In particular, the May Day Cake Competition is back (and there are prizes)! Student and faculty judges will work tirelessly throughout the afternoon stuffing their faces with cake to determine who the best baker at Lakeside is. The Games Committee, meanwhile, is revitalizing an old May Day tradition that most students have never seen: tree climbing. In an activity hosted by Mr. Searl, our resident Latin teacher, students will be able to climb the giant sequoia tree just outside of Bliss and look out over the scenic view of the campus. Other events to look forward to are spikeball, badminton, ping pong, and a mysterious scavenger hunt.

Now for the million dollar questions: what about food and fun? Luckily, the simultaneous necessities of things to eat and things to watch will be arranged by the Food/Clubs and the Entertainment Committees respectively, with a complimentary (free!) lunch provided courtesy of the kitchen and snacks purchasable from miscellaneous clubs via tickets (cue flashbacks to Clubs Fair), and entertainment in the form of student performances and live music. Many thanks in advance to the kitchen for the food and the maintenance and tech teams for dealing with stage and sound equipment setup! And, as the name suggests, the May Day decorations are all courtesy of the Decorations Committee.

But fear not! While the shirts aren’t free, the activities certainly are.

The one aspect of May Day not planned by Stud Gov are the workshops in the morning, which are student-led. The workshops run from 8:30 to 9:45, and student leaders will “facilitate an intentional conversation about something that matters to the Lakeside community.” And yes, attendance is mandatory.

Traditionally, May Day has usually been a much-needed respite from work, an opportunity to connect with friends and have fun in various activities. According to the Tatler poll, students’ impressions of May Day vary, with some recalling a day of fun and warmth while others remember rather damper skies (to be fair, it is Seattle). Whatever the case, many are stoked for May Day and eagerly anticipate dashing around campus with friends. See you there on May 16th, campers!