Introducing someone else to the power of 1000 screaming kids
It's Orange Day again - I'm no stranger to this event but every year I try to get someone else to experience the fun and enthusiasm generated by 1000 of Wellington's best and brightest school patrollers. This year it's Jen O'Sullivan, last year was Kenny King and the year before that Ralph McCubbin-Howell. No-one quite expects the sheer noise and enthusiasm these kids can generate at the drop of a hat. And even better, they can turn it off again at a moment's notice and pay amazing attention to their peers who are performing for them.
We always MC these gigs, and do a bit of improv in the middle as well. But the focus is very much on the work the school patrols do every year and the work they put into the parade and celebration on the day too. there are always amazing banners and costumes - and this year all the schools seemed to have a chant too, so we got them playing off against each other, chant vs. chant.
As a former school teacher I get a guilty thrill out of winding these kids up to make noise to the point of almost annihilation knowing I don't have them for the rest of the day! But they deserve a hit out, these kids. As a father of a school patrol I know the dedication it takes for these kids to haul themselves to school earlier than their mates and stand in the rain to keep them safe. I wonder when there will be a day for those parent volunteers, like my wife Allie, who have to stand around with them too!