|Two girls enjoying cotton candy at the Family Picnic|
The Family Picnic is a highly anticipated event that’s become a May tradition at IHMS for the past 20 years. However, this year’s picnic didn’t take place in May, and came very close to being cancelled altogether. After two rain delays the event was eventually postponed to the middle of June. Despite a forecast of severe thunderstorms, the weather cooperated at the last minute and the event went ahead as planned.
|A few of the younger students at the picnic|
|IHMS graduates of 2016 reconnecting with their friends at the Family Picnic|
|The picnic takes place on the playground at the end of the school day, and unlike most other IHMS events, it has only one purpose – fun! There are no fund raising concerns, no silver collection, and no obligations whatsoever except for one pre-cut, nut free home baking. It’s a great way for members of the school community to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed and informal setting.|
|A few of the grade 6-8 students waiting in line to use the bouncer in the gym|
|This year’s picnic took place on Tuesday, June 13, the third year in a row in the month of June. The picnic was originally planned for May 25, but was postponed to June 7 because of the imminent forecast of rain. Finally, the organizers settled on a third and final date of June 13. The picnic began right after dismissal and ran until approximately 5:30 p.m. Parents didn’t have to make a special trip to attend the picnic because they had to be at the school to pick up their kids anyway.|
|Students waiting in line to use the bouncer|
|Members of the school community enjoying each other’s company on the school playground|
|Because of the threat of rain, the food table and the big bouncer were brought into the school gym|
|Despite an ominous forecast, the weather turned out to be almost perfect!|
At 4:15 p.m., Mr. Picklyk announced that the food was being served right after the school chaplain, Father Julian Khomechko, OSBM led everyone in prayer.
|Father Julian Khomechko, OSBM led everyone in prayer before the food was served|
|This was the main source of protein at the Annual Family Picnic|
|Students and parents lined up for food in the gym and ate in the playground|
As in the past, there was one main attraction at the Family Picnic – an inflatable bouncer. This year’s bouncer, which was set up in the gym because of the possibility of rain, was larger and more interesting than in previous years. Students had to crawl through a short tunnel (after removing their shoes), scale a steep incline, and then slide down the other side. Because it was so popular, most kids had to wait in line for a few minutes to try it out.
|The main attraction at the Family Picnic was an inflatable “bouncer” that was set up in the gym. This year’s bouncer was different in style than the type rented by the school in previous years.|
In addition to the big bouncer, there were also several different tossing games that involved throwing beanbags, frisbees, or shooting a plastic puck at a target. Most of these games were available but not set up or used, probably because there was a new game that involved shooting a ball (similar to a basketball) into a net. This game seemed to be quite popular.
|The new ball throwing game (top photos) and the unused older games (bottom photo)|
Parent and student volunteers managed to keep the picnic running smoothly. The student volunteers, who were all from grade 7 and 8, did a wonderful job in reducing the number of parent volunteers needed. This gave more parents the chance to relax and spend time with their families. Workers were needed for the inflatable bouncer slide, the food tables, the barbeques, the popcorn and Freezie stations, and the cotton candy machine. These stations also required some heavy lifting in setting up and tearing down afterwards. Parent volunteers were also busy working behind the scenes preparing the food and drink for the picnic.
|A few of the student and parent volunteers who served food and passed out snacks at the picnic|
A table was set up for people to enter their name for a free raffle of donated prizes. This year, there were some excellent prizes. Every family attending the Picnic was eligible to enter their family’s name once.
|As can be seen in the above photos, another activity featured at the picnic was a face painting station where face painting was performed by artistic grade 8 girls.|
Everything about the picnic seemed to go as planned despite the dire weather forecast. The weather turned out better than expected, and everyone seemed to have a good time! Thank you to Mr. Arnold Dumlao for organizing the entire event, and all the volunteers who made the family picnic the success that it was.