With spring term underway, many Deerfield students’ minds turn to one thing: Spring Day. There are questions like, “When is spring day?” Or, “What will the activities be?” And from the new students, “What causes all the hype?” Spring Day is not merely a day of activities; it is just as important as any other Deerfield tradition — full of history and importance to student life.
The origin of Spring Day can be traced back to when Deerfield was an all-boys school. The boys would go out on a Wednesday afternoon to the green in front of the library, typically one week before graduation, and sit outside in the sun to enjoy the nice weather.
Yearbooks suggest that the activities that took place during Spring Day have varied throughout the years, ranging from picnics to performances to mere social gatherings. For example, in the older yearbooks from the 1900s, photographs depict Spring Days with a big outdoor theater production — something that now has been replaced.
According to Spanish Teacher Stephen Taft, who has been at Deerfield since 1984, Spring Day has been a tradition since he arrived on campus. However, early in his career here, there were no organized games and no inflatables. Spring Day was just much simpler: students would stay outside, enjoying nature and friends’ company for what it was. He recalled that student bands would perform, and other sorts of entertainment was also put on by students themselves. Mr. Taft described the traditional cookout as a lobster and clam dinner, where a big fire would be used to cook up the seafood.
The celebration continues to be a time for Deerfield students to unwind, spend time with their friends, and enjoy the weather. It usually takes place on a Wednesday, so that after a half day of classes, students can enjoy an afternoon in the sun. A variety of activities are now held on the Lower Fields, unlike before, when they were held in front of the library. They include rafting, inflatable games, and swimming in the river. Later in the afternoon, there is a whole school cookout (although lobsters and clam have been replaced) where students can chat and just continue to relax.
Students consistently rave about Spring Day as one of the best days of the year. According to Michael Makridis ’19, Spring Day is special to Deerfield students because it celebrates the final few weeks of the school year. He explained, “Last year, when I was a new sophomore and Spring Day came around, I was both sad and excited to conclude my first year on campus. Spring Day was the best opportunity I had to spend time with my friends before we all went home.”
From a different perspective, Lily Robinson ’18 suggested that what makes Spring Day special is all of the fun activities. She said, “Last year’s Spring Day was by far my favorite, because of the slip and slide, and swimming in the river. The sun was out and it made the day so much more enjoyable. If it is good weather, it definitely one of the best days of the year.”
This year’s Spring Day is on Wednesday, May 23, and plans have already been made. So make sure not to miss it!