|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 18 years. The picnic is not organized by the school – it’s organized by the parents of the school, the Parent’s Guild. It’s open to all current IHMS students and their family members. It’s also open to former students who have already graduated and moved on to other schools. In fact, the picnic is a great way for alumni to revisit the school to reconnect and socialize with old friends in the school community.
|A few of the former IHMS students who attended 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.|
|This year’s picnic took place on Thursday, June 4, the first time ever in the month of June. It was originally planned for the previous week, but was postponed because of rain. 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.|
|Ethan W. with his mother (top photo) and Anna R. with her mother (bottom photo)|
Most of the parents brought lawn chairs and socialized while their children enjoyed the various activities planned by the organizing committee. As students played with their friends and parents socialized with other parents, these positive interactions help create an important sense of community within the school.
|Most of the parents wisely set up their lawn chairs in the shade|
|Everything about the Picnic was informal – families came when they could, and stayed as long as they wanted. Admission was only one pre-cut home baking per family. As usual, there were plenty of activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained.|
|The day of the picnic was also a N.U.T. day, and students were encouraged to dress in comfortable and colourful summer wear. This was a great idea because the weather was sunny and 23 degrees – a perfect day for a picnic.|
|A few of the IHMS staff members at the picnic|
At 4:15 p.m., Mr. Picklyk announced that the food was being served right after the school chaplain, Father Thomas Kobak led everyone in prayer.
|Mr. Picklyk asked for everyone’s attention as Father Thomas led them in prayer|
After the meal, a dessert table was set up with the pre-cut home baking that parents brought as admission. Coffee, orange juice, and water were included in the meal for anyone who wanted.
|A table with some of the pre-cut home baked desserts brought by the parents|
As in the past few years, there was one main attraction at the Family Picnic – an inflatable bouncer. This was a large air-filled structure that children crawled up on one side (after removing their shoes), in order to bounce or 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 the big bouncer slide. The top two photos show it being assembled and filled with air, the next three photos show the students enjoying it, the following two photos show part of the student line up for the bouncer, and the last photo shows two grade 8 girls volunteering their time and working at the big bouncer – Antonette C. and Rachel Ann P.|
There were also several different tossing games that involved throwing beanbags, frisbees, or shooting a plastic puck at a target. They attracted very little attention, and did seem to be popular with the kids.
|In addition to the big bouncer, there were 4 different ball tossing or plastic puck shooting games placed along the chain link fence|
Another activity featured at the picnic was a face painting station where face painting was performed by artistic grade 8 girls.
|Face painting by grade 8 volunteers Diana F. and Viktoriya S.|
Parent and student volunteers managed to keep the picnic running smoothly. The student volunteers, who were all from grade 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 parents, students, and IHMS staff members who selflessly volunteered their time and effort at various stations to keep the family picnic running smoothly.|
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:
- A family board game and movie package.
- $100 gift card to iTunes.
- 3 tickets to a World Cup Soccer Game!
Every family attending the Picnic was eligible to enter their family’s name once.
|Grade 8 boys Ethan W. and Josh T. worked the second shift at the raffle table|
Everything about the picnic seemed to go as planned. The weather was fantastic and everyone seemed to have a good time! Thank you to Mrs. A. Kennedy and Mr. A. Dumlao for organizing the event, and for all the volunteers who made the family picnic the success that it was.
|Click here to view additional photos of the Family Picnic|