As the new year kicks into full swing, so does a new round of resolutions. This usually includes a new, healthy lifestyle filled with workout routines and fresh foods, and even though it is already February, health is still at the forefront of the student and staff attention at Elizabethtown Area High School.
One class, called Strength and Conditioning, started its exercise plans back in December, as the students in it have been participating in the Fit Bowl. The Fit Bowl Challenge, overseen by Physical Education and Health high school teacher Andrew Derr, is an initiative to “promote activity within the school and community.” Students and staff chose one of ten college football bowl games and “traveled” to the game through exercise. Every minute of the workout was equal to a mile. For example, if someone chose the Sugar Bowl, which is played in New Orleans, LA, they would have to exercise 1158 minute to reach the game 1158 miles away. If the student or staff completed the total time by the bowl game kickoff, they receive a t-shirt. In addition to being a healthy and entertaining holiday activity, the Fit Bowl is also a fundraiser for purchasing, replacing, and/or repairing equipment for the high school weight room. The final bowl game included in the Fit Bowl was played on the eighth of January. Close to 200 students and staff participated in the Fit Bowl. Another class at the high school, Mind and Body Wellness, has already earned praises by students. In just its third year, the class has already produced its own annual 5k, tentatively scheduled for May 19th this year, and supports the Mental Health America of Lancaster Country. Mind and Body teacher Shane Kargo said the best part of the student planning is “that every student has a role. They take ownership of the event knowing that their efforts benefit a great organization.” The newest additions to EAHS’s gym department are Net Sports and Lifetime Activities. These classes take the place of Gym 11 and Gym 12, allowing students to specifically pick what kind of gym class they want. Kargo, speaking for his fellow teachers, said, “We decided to create electives to satisfy the needs of the students. The ‘one size fits all’ model of a grade level Physical Education wasn’t the most effective offering.” Net Sports, as the name entails, has students playing games involving nets like volleyball, tennis, badminton, and pickleball. Lifetime Activities focuses more on ways students can stay physically active throughout life, including golf, dance, group fitness, softball and a running/walking unit. All of the current physical education teachers are teaching these new classes because, as Kargo asserts, “If you’re teaching the same thing every year, I’m not sure you become a better teacher . . . I feel you become more stagnant.” The teachers hope to create 2-3 more electives in the future to continue catering to different student’s fitness goals.