They were supposed to be attending an assembly about study skills called "54 Tools to Improve Your Academic Life." But five minutes in, Upper School students learned that, in fact, they were being treated to Surprise Day, an old Heathwood tradition revived by Student Body President Mary Martha Beard and Dean of Students Elise Hagstette.
Instead of spending the afternoon of the Friday before spring break plowing through a massive list of tips on time management, flashcards, and the like--"There are a lot of solutions, so if one thing doesn't work, there are 53 others," deadpanned Upper School Head George Scouten--students were invited to head over to PEAK Adventure Base Camp, where a picnic lunch and games ranging from football and soccer to bowling, volleyball, and Gaga ball, along with a dunking booth and a giant inflatable, awaited them.
Reviving Surprise Day, a beloved Heathwood tradition in the 1990s and early 2000s in which classes were unexpectedly canceled for a day or afternoon of fun, was Mary Martha's idea. She and Mrs. Hagstette worked together to coordinate everything, and despite all the logistics involved, managed to keep it all a secret from the rest of the student body.
Even the weather cooperated, finally warming up enough to feel like spring.
See more Surprise Day pictures here.