A Look Back At JumpStart 2021 | A Student’s Perspective

JumpStart Weekend kicks off the new school year each fall at Maranatha. This year, as faculty, staff, and veteran students led the way, the new students began their college experience with a weekend packed full of fun, information, and new friendships. 

Freshmen Mixer – Friday, August 27, 7:00 p.m. 

After a long day of registration, meetings, and moving in, the new students converged at the Mixer activity. The night was bursting with energy as the Office of Student Activities (OSA) introduced themselves and the presidents of each society, intertwining several games in between. Teams went head-to-head in a gift-wrapping competition, in which each member could only use one hand, and later several students attempted to guess the “imposter” in a twist on charades; rather than guessing the action, the students had to deduce which member of the team didn’t know what they were acting out! 

However, everyone participated in a gym-wide game of Kahoot rehearsing some important rules and facts about Maranatha in addition to the crowning activity of the night, the Mixer. Each student received a checklist of questions and throughout the evening approached other students, asking for their autograph and an answer to one of the questions, such as what their favorite cereal was or whether they preferred coffee or tea. 

The Mixer was energy-driven and action-packed, but OSA had merely set the stage for the events of the following evening. 

Scavenger Hunt – Saturday, August 28, 7:00 p.m. 

On the hottest evening of the weekend, the students once again assembled in the gym for another exciting game: the Scavenger Hunt. OSA officers lined the students up in birthday order and counted them off in groups of five. Each group was a team, and each team had a twofold mission: to find as many places on the list as they could and to make it to the fire pit before time ran out. 

Students dashed from the gym and darted from building to building, confronting the staff member stationed at each location and retrieving their signature. As teams ambushed each other in the halls of Old Main and upperclassmen posing as staff members detained unsuspecting groups, laughter echoed throughout the campus and new friendships formed quickly. 

At the end of the game, all of the teams gathered around the fire pit, sharing marshmallows and stories of their adventures with one another. At this time, OSA recognized the winning team, who managed to retrieve all twenty-three staff signatures and reach the fire pit before all of the other teams. 

They may or may not have had a Maranatha Baptist Academy alumnus on their team… 

Picnic – Sunday, August 29, 2:00 p.m. 

In a change of pace from the pandemonium of the previous evening, the new students piled into the buses and vans and headed toward Harnischfeger Park to enjoy a relaxing afternoon before classes began the next day. Upon arrival, a large game of volleyball quickly began, and students participated, watched, or enjoyed the many other activities the park has to offer, including mini-golf, a historic landmark, and a peaceful boardwalk down to the river. 

As late afternoon set in, the students collected in the pavilion to hear from Pastor Dwayne Morris of Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown, WI, who shared some words of wisdom and encouragement for the school year ahead. Afterward, dinner was served, and the students enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, chips, watermelon, and, of course, cookies and brownies. 

JumpStart Weekend overflowed with fun, excitement, and laughter, and OSA truly made the experience a memorable one. As the students look ahead to a school year full of information, assignments, and due dates, they may soon find that a look back is in order. And, when they do, they’ll remember JumpStart, because they certainly won’t be able to forget it.