The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

[PHOTO ESSAY] NHS picnics indoors during BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) event

WEGO’s NHS welcomes returning and new members with a picnic event on Oct. 16.

National Honor Society’s members are some of the busiest students at West Chicago Community High School, and it is rare for the entire chapter to get a chance to meet and hangout with everyone else. Most people would agree that socializing is the best way to find a long-life friend, people who help guide others through tough and stressful times and also celebrate every milestone in one’s life. How, then, do the 110 members of the NHS socialize and form bonds? Each and every member was given a family to interact with as there are 110 NHS members at WEGO.

They organize an event for all members to gather and meet once a year during late start time. This year’s event was held Oct.16 in the Learning Resource Center, or LRC. The event was called “BYOB: Bring Your Own Blanket” and it lived up to its name because all members brought their own blankets. Although the event venue was just at WEGO’s library, members treated it as if they were at a real picnic site by spreading their blankets onto the ground and comfortably laying and sitting on them.

(Photo by Jayem Nato)

Food is a must at every event! At 7:00 a.m. on a Monday morning at WEGO, a whole breakfast table with bagels, donuts, brownies, fruits, gallons of milk and juice was prepared by NHS president, Mia Valliquette, and NHS vice president, Melanie Duran, both seniors.

Photo by Jayem Nato

The highlight of the annual event were the bagels, from local institution County Farm Bagels in Winfield. National Honor Society members voted on breakfast options in September.

Photo by Jayem Nato

As the sun rose, members trickled in and were directed by Leslie Fireman, English teacher and supervisor of WEGO’s NHS, as well as senior Clara Hasselgren, NHS secretary, to their own “families”. Each family chose their spots, raised their blankets, and spread them over the ground. Everyone around was excited to socialize and meet new people. 

“I love meeting new people whom I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t come to this breakfast,” junior Isabella (Izzy) Colburn said.

Photo by Jayem Nato

Members were given tasks to complete in a printed TO-DO list, the first of which included sitting with their family and introducing themselves to their peers.  After getting to know each other, each family selected their own team colors and made up a family name. Next, each group provided an electronic poster with a family crest of their own choosing – but within the poster, there must be the team color they have chosen. These posters were printed out and laminated to be used at future meetings.

Photo by Jayem Nato

Hard work has its rewards: each family was able to get their food after completing all the tasks given. Food was donated by National Honor Society members, or purchased by the organization for the annual event.

Photo by Jayem Nato

Intruders were not allowed: while everyone was busy socializing, a beautiful guest who had been idling in the far corner of the room attempted to get her hair done by one of the new NHS members, senior Julissa Duran. A makeover was not on the schedule, however, and the stranger had to leave.

Photo by Jayem Nato

Aside from tasks and eating, stations were set up for arts and crafts. Members enjoyed making bracelets, whether for themselves or because they wanted to hop on Taylor Swift’s friendship bracelet trend.

Junior Eilynne Hernandez displays her pride for National Honor Society. (Photo by Jayem Nato)

As an apparent dedication for the organization, junior Eilynne Hernandez made a bracelet out of the abbreviation of National Honor Society.

(Photo by Jayem Nato)

Overall, the committee chairs hoped the BYOB provided a morning to remember for all NHS members. 

“I believe the BYOB event was special. Not only did the chairs get closer, but the new inductees got to meet the old members. It was awesome because it was also the first step to form bonds by the creation of our ‘families’. Hence, the activities were fun and also interactive. There was personal growth within me as I got to learn more about responsibility and the duties and management that come by being a committee chair,” senior Rosie Escalante, one of two committee chairs for the event, said.

The event provided an opportunity to create fun memories, not just for people who already knew everyone, but for each and every person who wanted to make the most of their NHS experience – even with strangers. NHS events do not just focus on helping other people, but also allow each and every member to grow and find themselves as a person.

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Jayem Nato, Reporter
Jayem is entering her first semester of Journalism, but is thrilled to be entering her final year here at WEGO. After high school, she plans to attend college and study medicine. In her free time, Jayem plays the guitar and enjoys painting. And shh: not a lot of people know, but Jayem is half-Japanese and half-Spanish.
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