By Ann Young, Summer Times Staff Writer

For many people, Field Day was an event to look forward to. The idea of having time to bond with dorm-mates and compete with their friends was an exciting one. Other students, however, were not so enthusiastic. Regardless of their opinions on the event, Exeter Summer students found themselves with some extra free time on the evening of Saturday, July 6, after receiving word that the event was cancelled due to severe thunder, lightning, and heavy rain.

Carolina Carneiro, a rising junior from Boston, said she was looking forward to Field Day, but was ultimately relieved when it was cancelled. “I was looking forward to winning,” she said. “I actually wasn’t looking forward to [Field Day] on the day, but I was looking forward to winning. I didn’t really know the sports, so that’s why I wasn’t really looking forward to anything in particular.” She also said she was nervous for the event, stating “I was not excited to participate in it because I felt a little bit anxious running or doing any sports in front of a large group of people.” Despite her nerves, Carolina was looking forward to bonding with her dorm mates in Cilley Hall. After being allowed out of her dorm after the storm, she went to a church to pray, then went to hang out with some of her friends for the evening. 

“I did not want to go to Field Day,” said Jayla Davis, a junior from Memphis, Tennessee. “I was happy it was cancelled.” She said that even though she was not looking forward to attending the event, she had no problem cheering on her dorm mates in the competitions. Despite Field Day being rained out, she said there was still a chance to get to know the other girls in her dorm. After it was officially cancelled, the girls in her dorm stayed and had a rock, paper, scissors tournament, and played other fun games. 

Three girls from Amen Hall, Abby Baldwin, Janice Kao, and Iman Jumbahoy, were disappointed when Field Day was cancelled, but managed to make the best of it. “I was excited for the three legged race,” said Iman. The other girls said they were looking forward to potato sack races. Most of all, they said, they had been looking forward to spending bonding time with other girls from Amen Hall. Despite their frustration, they decided not to let the weather ruin their night and played cards with a group of friends.

“I don’t know what I was expecting here. At my school, field day is just sports, so I didn’t know what it would be like here,” said Lara Garcia, a rising sophomore from Puerto Rico. “I was tired that day, so I was happy to have more time to just chill. We were already coming over when we heard thunder, so we ran back.” Lara said that after arriving back at her dorm, she and her friends hung out until the common room until the carnival later that evening. 

Unlike most students, the boys of Ewald dormitory were able to join some of the Field Day festivities. Jon Gomez, a rising senior from Poughkeepsie, New York, was one of these boys. “I was expecting there to be a lot more people, but apparently we were the only ones who showed up,” he said. According to Jon, the gym was very hot. He said that while some boys used the equipment in the gym, others simply sat and waited out the storm.

From an administrative and organizational point of view, the weather presented many challenges. Though he was not in charge of organizing Field Day, Jeffrey Ward, the dean of Exeter Summer, said he and director Russell Weatherspoon ultimately decided to cancel the event due to unsafe weather conditions. 

“There were just no other days to have it,” he said when asked why the event wasn’t moved to a different day. Jim Tufts, the athletic director for Exeter Summer, played a larger role in the organization of the activities planned. He said that due to the weather, he had to change the activities offered to be more suitable for an indoor setting in the gym. “The floors are like the tennis courts,” he said. “We felt that things like sack races and three legged races would not be safe to play on hard floors — people might get cut up.”