At Severn School, there is a parking shortage. Faculty and seniors are given priority spots on campus, leaving half the junior class without a place to park. To deal with this situation, students are given parking passes, either yellow or green, which designate the weeks when they can park on campus. On the weeks when they can’t, juniors have to park in the Cypress Creek lot, a half-mile away from school.
“Cypress sucks, especially during the winter,” said junior Sean Ward.
Because of the inconvenience the morning trek posed, Sean, along with his classmate Hunter Beall, decided to change their mentality.
“Hunter and I kind of just built off each other’s energy in the morning to make it a positive thing,” Sean said. “Then gradually, as more people got their licenses and learned how to overcome that mountain in the morning, we just began making the most out of the walk.”
Before long, Hunter and Sean created a club, the Severn Cypress Society (SCS), as a way to turn their morning trip into something more exciting. On the last day before Thanksgiving break, members of the society woke up early, drove to Cypress, and fired up two small grills. When students arrived at Cypress that morning, they were greeted with a mini breakfast tailgate of eggs, bacon, pancakes and hot chocolate. Afterward, everyone pitched in to pack up and leave the parking lot as they found it.
The event was a smashing success, and it set the standard for the group moving forward.
Since then, the SCS has not slowed down, with their efforts culminating in an Easter egg hunt on April 7.
“We have meals served, we have games, and we have prizes,” said member Jack Shenk. “We just really up the ante every single time … we've done everything from a normal breakfast burrito cookout to a full-fledged egg hunt.”
Throughout the process, SCS members have formed a unique comradery. To put an event together, each person is responsible for a specific aspect: food, drinks, plates, grills and even the music. Many of the students love to talk about the bonds they formed with their friends while cooking bacon in a parking lot at 7:00am.
“It gives us something to look forward to at the end of the week,” explained junior and grill master Jagan Som. “We do have to make the long walk every day, but the reward on Friday makes it all worthwhile.”
Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on who you ask — the current group of juniors have only a few more weeks left at Cypress. Once the seniors finish their classes, all juniors will be able to park on campus every day. Luckily, the SCS doesn’t plan to let the new Cypress tradition end this year. The juniors have started to teach current sophomores the ropes so that next year they can experience the same bonding and joy that the juniors did.
“I really think that even though it is a funny society, in practice, the message behind it is applicable to life,” Sean said. “It isn’t just the games or the food that is good; it’s the encouraging of other people to adopt the same attitude that we did, the attitude of embracing the bad … and turning it into good.”
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