The Jamboree is one of Pinewood’s biggest events of the year. K-12 students, parents, faculty, and alumni come to Upper Campus for the fall festival.
Every club, ranging from the Upper Campus book club to the Middle Campus gardening club, hosted booths at Jamboree. In addition, each grade in high school and junior high had its own booth organized by the student council.
However, Jamboree didn’t consist solely of booths; bouncy houses and slides framed the field while musical talents – performances by the dance club and the choirs – took up the entire terrace. Another main attraction was student council’s haunted house, where the gym locker rooms were transformed into a nightmarish medley of Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
In the 1990s, Dean of Studies Laurie Wilson proposed making a carnival for all Pinewood students, parents, and faculty. As a Pinewood parent at the time, Wilson took it upon herself to convene with fellow parents to organize and run the Jamboree.
Without the help of the administration or the students, Jamboree was once a lot of work for Wilson and her fellow parents.
Remembering when she and her friends would sit around [her] house and hand-make everything, Wilson has had the opportunity to see the entire metamorphosis of the Jamboree. The event went on hiatus for a period of time from the toll it took on parents, but it was revived within three years.
“When [no one else took charge], it was sort of a drag,” Wilson said.
Now everyone is involved: students, parents, and faculty. Although parents still do the majority of the work, it is a lot easier to run with the help of so many people. This year’s Chair of Jamboree planning, Frederic Hanika, father to two Pinewood students, attended the Jamboree a couple of times before this year. He noted that Jamboree brings all the students and parents together.
“[As Pinewood parents], we usually only know the parents from our grade,” Hanika said. “So it’s great to meet everybody. Working at the Jamboree also gives us a great opportunity to branch out.”
The Jamboree also gives the high school students a unique responsibility in preparing for the big event.
“It gives the younger students that big brother, big sister interaction,” President Scott Riches said.
Jamboree is a community building event; it’s been a part of Pinewood for a long time. It’s a part of what makes Pinewood the difference, so to say.
“We pride ourselves on our sense of community… the Jamboree is just a piece of that,” Wilson said.