Rachel Carson Elementary goes gaga for GaGa
May 31, 2011
By Anna Marum
Kelly Cameron’s sixth grade class went GaGa after they returned from Camp Seymour for their sixth grade trip.
But we’re not talking about Lady Gaga. The students had been playing an intense form of dodgeball in a GaGa Pit (a fence-like structure enclosing the players) and couldn’t get enough of the game. So, two students from Cameron’s class, Nick Gordon and Tom Lawler, decided to build a pit of their own for the students at Rachel Carson Elementary School.
Jennifer Gordon helped her son and several of his classmates build the pit, comprised of eight hinged slabs of wood, in her garage. She said the pit provides good exercise that everyone can take part in.
“They’re so excited about it,” said Gordon. “It’s just so fun.”
Nick and Tom first proposed the idea of building a GaGa Pit to their teacher, who was impressed by the students’ initiative.
“They came in and said, ‘What is the next step?’ The two boys took it off on their own,” Cameron said.
Cameron told the students to talk to the school’s principal, Mary Cronin, to put their idea into action. So in late April, Nick and Tom made an appointment to speak with Cronin and present their idea.
“I was shocked,” Cronin said. “They had researched everything; the cost, how to play … they literally did the whole thing on their own.”
Cronin signed off on the idea after hearing the carefully prepared presentation, and the boys went right to work.
After several hours in the Gordons’ garage, the makings of the GaGa Pit were complete. On Monday, May 23, students carefully unloaded the long slabs of wood and arranged them in an octagon. Before Cameron’s class jumped in to pummel each other with dodgeballs, the principal congratulated them.
“See what can happen when you have an idea?” Cronin asked Cameron’s giddy sixth grade class.
Then the game began, complete with a commentator, boos and shouts of encouragement from onlookers.
Nick Gordon said he was sure the students would play in the GaGa Pit every recess. All the students had been asking about it, he said.
Lexi Warden, another student in Cameron’s class, said she thought it was really cool that the elementary school now has a GaGa Pit.
“They worked really hard to get this here,” she said of the two boys.
Though the intense game has the potential to get violent, the students kept it clean and below the waist, stepping out of the pit when they were out. The game is very positive, Cameron said.
“You don’t have to be the best athlete to play,” she said. “I think the hardest part is going to be keeping too many (students) out of it.”
Intern Anna Marum can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 248, or firstname.lastname@example.org.