PALS Discover Campuses Amidst Spray Paint

The PALS campus reveal proved to be just as chaotic as the kids that participate in the program themselves

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  • PALS working with Laurel Mountain Elementary (LME) show their lion pride for the program. After the picture was taken, the campus went out to lunch together to learn more about each other.

  • PALS fill the space of the Baseball field, covering their eyes to keep the surprise of their campus alive. Even with the sun beaming down on them, campus coordinators covered in their campus color sprayed each correlating person on their campus in celebration.

  • Tic-Tac-Oh? Grant Means ’23 becomes a board game and is sprayed with more than just his campus. Campus Coordinators had fun drawing on a literal life-size board!

  • Spraying away, Inesh Nambiar ’23 decorates Preston Sanderville ’23 with purple spray paint. Both members are on Purple Sage and celebrated with this reveal.

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On Thursday, Sept. 8, first year students in the Peers Assistance Leadership Services (PALS) received their assignments for which elementary or middle school school they would be mentoring students on this year. The PALS program, which allows participating high schoolers to  befriend and act as part of support system for elementary and middle school students, sends its mentors to each of Westwood’s feeder schools, including elementary and middle schools.

With a sorority bid day-esque reveal, the PALS were blindfolded, and through 18 cans of colored hairspray, they each found their new campus. The campus coordinators, or leaders of each respective campus, used differently colored spray paint to reveal to each eager participant their campus as they closed their eyes.

“Last year when I found out my campus , [the reveal] was super fun and even though I was not supposed to, this year, I had my eyes open and saw everyone’s reactions to being spray painted,” Ruhi Singh ‘23 said. “The guys were screaming like little girls when they got sprayed.”

The campus coordinators were assigned their new peers, taking the time to make posters of each campus to welcome them. Alongside these posters, bubbles flew around the baseball fields and hairspray covered every white tee in the crowd.

“I liked getting to spray people, even though the color we used [for Caraway] was not technically what Caraway’s color was,” Catherine Ramage ‘23 said. “But then it got fun and I just did random designs on everyone’s shirts like smiley faces and hearts, but I was trying to go fast before people wanted to open their eyes.”

This year, PALS has around 10 to 11 students ready to help out at each campus. The job of organizing these campuses came down to the two presidents of the program, as well as the sponsors. For the presidents to see the end result of Campus Reveal was an interesting experience.

“A lot of people were trying to peek and feel what letters were being sprayed on them,” PALS Co-President Ciera Kelley ‘23 said. “The people we have on each campus – whether a [returning student] or not- are going to make sure that the new PALS on their campus don’t feel lost.”

As the school year continues, many PALS are beginning to visit their campus, starting on Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Thursday, Sept. 29. To learn more about the national PALS program, visit their website.