MICDS Upper School students Annabel Warren ’17 and Colleen Sliney ’17 planned and hosted a squash clinic for 15 sixth and seventh grade students from Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls on February 20 at the Hermann Squash Courts on campus. Hawthorn students were accompanied by their dean of students, several faculty members and the school’s executive director and founder, Mary Danforth Stillman. In addition, MICDS students Hayden Medart ’16, Casey Jones ’16, Izzy Fenoglio ’17, Mia Schroeder ’18, Amanda Kalishman ’18, Jamerson Durrill ’19 and Jennifer Goldberg ’19 joined Annabel and Colleen as volunteer coaches.
Hawthorn students participated in a series of team-building and leadership activities for the first hour (including using paper plate « lily pads » to cross from one squash court to another, and calling upon their problem-solving and engineering skills to build the tallest freestanding tower to support a marshmallow using only spaghetti, tape, and string.) The MICDS girls then introduced the game of squash to the Hawthorn students using fun, on-court games. After a lunch of Chik-fil-A and cookies, the players returned to the courts for more fun squash-specific games.
« We wanted to create this program because we felt it was important to spread our love and passion for squash to kids who might not have other opportunities to play. More than that, we were hoping our team could serve as mentors and could build long-lasting relationships with the Hawthorn girls. it was so rewarding to see the camp finally come together and to see the smiles on all of the girls’ faces, » said Annabel.
Colleen agreed, adding, « Before the clinic, I did not realize how much I would learn from these girls. They were so compassionate and eager to learn. At the end of the clinic, we asked for the girls to raise their hands if they would want to continue playing squash. Just about every single girl raised their hand. This was the most rewarding feeling throughout the entire process so far. Giving these girls this opportunity was a way for both the MICDS girls and the Hawthorn girls to learn something from each other and to provide mentorship. »
Annabel and Colleen organized the event and raised $1,600 in funding through an independent ‘go fund me » plea, which not only allowed them to charter a bus to bring the girls from Hawthorn to MICDS for the camp, but also provided for the lunch, logo t-shirts for all the girls, and a racket raffle.