By: Avery Broom
Oak Hall has a long-standing tradition of a Girls Overnight Leadership Development (G.O.L.D.) sleepover. Rising ninth grade, junior, senior girls get together every year to bond and the older girls give advice to help prepare the younger girls for high school. G.O.L.D. is led by junior and mostly senior girls with the faculty sponsors being Upper School Spanish teacher Krystal Serrano and Upper School science teacher Kristin Wilson. This year’s G.O.L.D. is on Feb. 27 on the Oak Hall campus but instead of a sleepover like tradition, girls will stay at school from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. In previous years, the students hang out in the Upper School hallways, classrooms and library but with the pandemic, GOLD will be held in the gym with as much outside time as possible.
Eighth graders signed up because seniors and juniors will give advice and tips on how to be successful throughout their high school career. The purpose of G.O.L.D. is to help rising ninth graders realize that they are strong individuals and can do anything. Serrano and Wilson lead a feminism activity where girls will describe what society thinks a feminist is versus what they think a feminist is. The girls will come up with strong words that describe feminists to empower them as young leaders. G.O.L.D. is not always serious though, as the leaders plan fun activities like yoga, arts and crafts, and a dance party.
One of the most important aspects of G.O.L.D. are the little and big sisters. Eighth graders are the little sisters who are assigned a big sister who will remain anonymous until the night of G.O.L.D. The big sisters drop off little presents in the eighth graders lockers to get them excited about G.O.L.D. This way the littles are not so nervous to meet their big sisters.
Serrano says the biggest change for G.O.L.D. this year is that “we can’t have a sleepover like tradition. Usually, G.O.L.D. is a 12-hour experience in the Upper School but this year it’s only four hours in the gym,” she said. There is also a plan to have individual dinners instead of a buffet-style dinner. One of the senior leaders, Austin Broom, says it’s important for young girls to attend G.O.L.D. because it teaches them female empowerment. She also says she is participating in this program because it’s an important event where bonding occurs. She wants to make this year’s G.O.L.D. special because she remembers the impact it had on her when she was in eighth grade.