20 Aug 2014
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Greenhouse School Celebrates the Olympics

Students got into the Olympic spirit at home in Salem.

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The Olympic Games came to a close on Friday, but not in Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London. On Boston's North Shore, students at Salem's year-round independent Greenhouse School conducted their own low key closing ceremonies, complete with flags, torch, and international cameraderie. Young atheletes at the school, which serves students from infancy through 8th grade, have been competing all week in a series of games and activities designed to boost spirit and mimic their counterparts on the world stage. "But mainly, it's just a lot of fun," says Director Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde.

To boost the spirit of fun, little atheletes were organized into two "teams," based on the two main comic book publishers, Detective Comics and marvel Comics. "I thought the DC/Marvel split was a stroke of genius," says co-Director Dan Welch. "They each had their own superhero avatars, and they designed and produced their own flags based on the logos." There were also an Olympic banner and a school flag, also hand made.

Events ranged from the usual track and field sprints to an egg and water balloon toss, but also included more creative pursuits like k'nex structures, lego sculpture and sand castle building. "I just thought the whole thing was very clever," says Welch. "Because of my work in the office, I didn't have a heavy hand in it, and it was jut wonderful to watch and enjoy."

Welch and Nambalirwa-Lugudde als noted the help of the school's two summer interns, Lydia King and Marcus McKenzie. The pair, who are both former GHS students (McKenzie graduate in '10) played important roles in coaching, organizing, and guiding the games. "Lydia's enthusiasm, in particular, was infectious," says Nambalirwa-Ludde.

At the closing ceremonies, atheletes all received a handmade medal with the school's logo, crafted from fimo and painted to look like god. "It was incredible to see it in their eyes," says Welch. "It was as if they really thought they were getting a *gold* medal!"

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