Zama Middle High School field day builds camaraderie, celebrates Month of the Military Child | Article




Students compete in a tug-of-war April 25 at Zama Middle High School’s Trojan Field on Camp Zama, Japan, during the school’s field day event. Held in conjunction with field day was a carnival event at the nearby Youth Center in observance of the Month of the Military Child.
(Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

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CAMP ZAMA, Japan – The laughter and shouts of students echoed throughout Trojan Field here Monday as they spent a warm, summerlike day playing games and cheering each other on.

The students at Zama Middle High School took a break from the classroom for a field day event that included several games and competitive events held on the field, in the school’s gymnasium and on the tennis court.

Held in conjunction with field day was a carnival event at the nearby Youth Center in observance of the Month of the Military Child.


Zama Middle High School field day builds camaraderie, celebrates Month of the Military Child



Students compete in a relay race April 25 at Zama Middle High School’s Trojan Field on Camp Zama, Japan, during the school’s field day event. Held in conjunction with field day was a carnival event at the nearby Youth Center in observance of the Month of the Military Child.
(Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

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Christopher Nagle, a junior and the executive board vice president who organized the field day with his team, said they began preparing for the event in February and spent several hours per week working on the project. They created posters; planned eight different events such as a relay race, obstacle course and tug-of-war; gathered all the necessary equipment; and split the students into teams prior to the start of the field day.

The teamwork aspect of the events encouraged the students to interact with each other and fostered an environment of communication.


Zama Middle High School field day builds camaraderie, celebrates Month of the Military Child



Students compete in a relay race that involved bouncing on exercise balls April 25 at Zama Middle High School’s Trojan Field on Camp Zama, Japan, during the school’s field day event. Held in conjunction with field day was a carnival event at the nearby Youth Center in observance of the Month of the Military Child.
(Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

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Ameera Trady, a junior, said everyone on her team introduced themselves to each other before the day began and came up with strategies for each event. She said she enjoyed the preparation process as much as she enjoyed the events.

“I’m so glad we are able to organize outdoor school events like this now,” Trady said. “I hope we can continue to plan things like this in the future.”

Murray Gillerson, a senior, said his team started off shaky, but they started to communicate a lot more and bond as the event went on. He said he enjoyed the tug-of-war because it required his team to plan their strategy for winning.

“It felt a lot more fun and cool to see a different approach to field day, [with it] having both a carnival and a competitive feel to it,” Gillerson said. “Our student council did an outstanding job in setting everything up and in giving students time to be active and have fun.”


Zama Middle High School field day builds camaraderie, celebrates Month of the Military Child



Students dance to music April 25 at the Youth Center on Camp Zama, Japan, during the school’s carnival event, held in observance of the Month of the Military Child. The carnival event was held in conjunction with Zama Middle High School’s field day, which was held on the campus nearby.
(Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

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In addition to citing its recognition of the Month of the Military Child, Nagle said the field day also helped to increase morale throughout the school since recently loosened COVID-19 restrictions allowed for a more connected event. The ultimate aim, Nagle said, was for everyone to have a good time.

He said that although planning the event took a lot of work, it was very rewarding to see the students enjoying themselves thanks to the support he and his team had from their peers, the school faculty and the staff at Child and Youth Services.

“Overall, our event went fabulously with little to no error,” Nagle said. “I believed we achieved all of our goals, and most importantly, everyone had fun.”


Zama Middle High School field day builds camaraderie, celebrates Month of the Military Child



Students compete in a dodgeball match April 25 at Zama Middle High School on Camp Zama, Japan, during the school’s field day event. Held in conjunction with field day was a carnival event at the nearby Youth Center in observance of the Month of the Military Child.
(Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

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Jessica Horton, a junior and the executive board public liaison officer, said she and the planning team spent time focusing on the small details in order to head off any problems, both realistic and hypothetical, that could arise and come up with solutions before the event .

It was a challenging process, she said, having to adapt the event to the large number of students, but she found it rewarding to hear many of them tell her they had never before seeing a field day of this scope and size.

“I wanted to create a unique experience for our seniors as well as the new middle-schoolers who have not experienced a ZMHS field day,” Horton said.


Zama Middle High School field day builds camaraderie, celebrates Month of the Military Child



A student gets his face painted April 25 at the Youth Center on Camp Zama, Japan, during the school’s carnival event, held in observance of the Month of the Military Child. The carnival event was held in conjunction with Zama Middle High School’s field day, which was held on the campus nearby.
(Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

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That included incorporating wall ball, a longtime recess and playground game with a few variations on how it is played. Horton said she was happy to include the game because most of the students were familiar with the game from their past, and playing it brought them a sense of nostalgia.

Like Nagle, Horton said organizing the field day would not have been possible without the support of everyone who worked on it. This was her first time planning an event of its size, and she said it was satisfying to see their hard work come to fruition. She said she is ready to work on more projects like it in the future.

“Overall, I think it worked out better than … we planned,” Horton said. “To me, field day was a success.”

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