The Supremacy of Penndel– Oh Such a Sweet Victory
The Highlander Games Champions
In the weeks preceding the Highlander Games, I constantly stated that Penndel would win. Only part of me believed that was actually possible as I sat through many planning sessions and meetings. As the Assistant Resident Director of Penndel, of course I have pride beyond measure of our abilities and fully believe we are the best residence site. But there was still a small portion of doubt in me.
These same thoughts flooded my mind as I entered the chapel that Friday night for the Parade of Banners, dressed in red and ready to conquer. Familiar nerves that come from planning and executing a large-scale event began to creep into my mind. What if no one from Penndel actually came? I love Penndel residents, but I also understand that they are busy upperclassmen and some would argue they had better things to do that weekend. I was then approached by a few RAs as we realized that we were supposed to pre-plan for this event, which of course didn’t happen and was somehow overlooked in the chaos of all the prep work…you know, all that advertising on every social media avenue and much more.
Next thing I knew I was standing on the stage with every Penndel resident that was present standing behind me. I stated a few things that my peers had stated about Penndel beforehand…like “we have a thing for transportation,” “we come from across the tracks,” and “we are not very good at planning things.” Along with my fellow Penndwellers, I cheered and awkwardly walked off stage, only slightly dysfunctional but clearly representing the mediocrity of the Penndel lifestyle. We do what we have to. Period. The audience laughed and I sat down with pride continuing to grow within.
Fast forward and the games were in full swing. The café was full of students and so was the gym. I chose to support those in the gym, as the café was packed. I remember sitting amazed at how many students had come out. Community was happening all around me along with a healthy amount of competition. Laughter and enjoyment filled the MAC.
Steadily the scoreboard was being updated on a Google doc. As the numbers changed, hope began to stir in me and my fellow Penndwellians. Penndel was not in last place and continued to dominate. Obviously those participating wanted to win, but most of us just wanted to participate to get points so we didn’t have to forfeit. That became a major theme on Saturday, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Shout out to B3 ladies and the guys from A/D House who killed it Friday night in the athletics. I mean, at one point Ryan Delgrande defeated five guys in dodgeball by himself – carrying the team on his back. Both guys and girls teams played hard and dominated. By the end of the night the scores were too close to tell who would win with another day of events to come. As I stood with my arm stretched out to show a large group of our team the scores I could tell they wanted to win and they were a part of our team full-heartedly.
The next day started with Iron Chef (another event we had not planned for in advance…more like the night before) and yet Penndel took the victory. Penndel had less participants this day but between the RAs and those present, everyone filled in the gaps so that we wouldn’t forfeit. Sure enough we started taking more and more victories, in things like Family Feud, cow tongue football, Fear Factor, and more. Everyone was running around and doing all they could. I mean, Abby Holmsten came in after playing cow tongue football and ate donuts for the eating contest, although her hands still smelled after washing them. Kelsey Reber ate a bowl of mayonnaise, followed by a chunky blended-up happy meal. Kellie Grosvenor jumped in wherever she could, constantly reminding me that we would not lose (later voted our female MVP)! Ben Cardillo was the first resident of all three sites to sign-up prior to the games and also jumped in when needed (our male MVP). We had some alumni support as well from Ryan Garven and Ian Zang. I heard so many stories of people stepping in and how we all were slightly surprised at how well Penndel was actually doing.
There was a break at lunch and the news among the Penndwellers began to spread. We had done it; somehow we had taken the victory for both the men’s and women’s competition. There was one event left (Mock Rock) but even if the other teams took first place we were far enough ahead that it didn’t matter. Those on the Mock Rock team asked to not participate but decided to just because they had prepared for this event.
It was the end of the games, the last event of the weekend, and we found ourselves in the chapel again. There was still excitement in the room from every team, with the Penndel participants seeming a bit relieved and ready for everyone to know that we had won. Mock Rock was so well done by every team. Penndel performed Sadie Hawkins Dance and I literally felt like a proud parent.
After an awkward announcement that Penndel had won the Mock Rock, the time had come. It was announced that Penndel had taken the double victory. Cheers erupted and shocked faces were all around the chapel. I don’t think after our Parade of Banners that anyone would anticipate us taking the victory.
Penndel residents give all they can when they are committed to something. They own everything they take part in whether it is academics, internships, or the Highlander Games. There is a culture of respect and adulthood at Penndel, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to embrace childhood occasionally. The more I think about it, I am not surprised we won. A huge portion of this win goes to the Penndel RAs who were there through the whole thing. The other portion goes to the maybe 25 residents from Penndel who participated in the multiple events. There is something to be said about winning with such few numbers in battle, but the amount of support and pride is enumerable.
Is Penndel any different after their victory? Of course not. They are the same yet only slightly more surprised, but now everyone knows that we truly are the best. And as the tradition of the Highlander Games carries on in the years to come, Penndel will always be the first to win. We are leaving our legacy behind with the few years we have left here at Cairn.
Thank you to Katie Gehringer, Evan Curry, the RHAs, SPA, RDs, and RAs for all your hard work in this event. You all are the real MVPs.