The Sweetness of Community
There was something sweet in the air at Maple Fest last Saturday. There was the soothing smell of warm pancakes mixed with the sap-infused smoke from the evaporator, and every time the flaps of the massive event tent by the amphitheater opened up there was an aromatic blast of fresh baked goodies that waited for visitors inside.
The day was a culmination of months of preparation, organization, and hard work by the Parent Group, and it was wonderful to watch all the plans and ideas come alive over the course of the day. Teams of parent volunteers once again swarmed the kitchen at Randolph to mix, pour, and flip the most delicious pancakes you can imagine. Other parents braved the March weather to stand out and serve lines of people who were wide-eyed with hungry anticipation. They brought their piping hot flapjacks down to the tent and sat at tables and chairs set up by parents. Inside, children had their faces painted, printed t-shirts, and did crafts with parent volunteers. Along the back wall of the tent were rows and rows of tables brimming with the most incredible mix of goodies that you could imagine, capped at the end by a seemingly bottomless kettle of mouth-watering chili. There was a stage to one side of the tent, featuring wonderful music and story-telling that seemed to fill the tent with just the right atmosphere for the day. All of this, incredibly, was organized and created by our incredible parents. They nailed every detail perfectly, and pulled off an incredible, fun-filled day.
The sweetness I sensed on Saturday was not the aroma of sap and yummy treats. It was the sweetness of a community coming together to celebrate. Unlike last year’s sunny warmth, this Maple Fest was marked by windy, sub-freezing conditions that had the potential to ruin the day. Instead, quite the opposite happened. The community came out in droves and gamely huddled in the warmth of the tent like people drawn to the kitchen at a party. We were at home there, catching up with each other, introducing new friends, laughing with our children, and having a wonderful time. There was a warmth to that time that flew in the face of the frigid weather, and it left me deeply appreciative of the Randolph community. My deepest thanks to the parents, teachers, trustees, alumni, sponsors, and volunteers who made this Maple Fest such a sweet, sweet day.