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Don’t be surprised if you see students popping out of bushes around Oldham County and spraying each other with water guns.
For the third consecutive year, a senior class fundraising project at North Oldham High School has launched an end-of-the-semester water war.
“Basically, it’s a giant stalking game where we shoot each other with water guns. The last dry man standing gets all the money,” said senior Caroline Glascock.
Teams of two enter the competition by paying $10 to organizer Jenny Zimmerman.
Similar to a game of paintball, participants attempt to spray as many people as possible with water while remaining dry themselves. Anyone tagged is out and students must use a water gun filled with plain tap water.
The dousing cannot take place on school grounds, at church, or at work.
But everywhere else, including parking lots, is fair game.
The Senior Stang started April 22 and continues through the last day of school – June 2.
In the event that there is more than one person left standing, the money will be divided equally among the remaining contenders.
Initially intended as a senior bonding activity, the game has grown in popularity over the years. In 2009, only 17 teams participated. This year, 67 teams are currently participating.
“It’s great for bonding because in order to spray people, you have to figure out where everyone works and lives,” said senior Jenny Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, who served as freshman and sophomore class president and organized this year’s event, said the majority of the senior class is taking part.
“There’s only about 200 students in our class and we have 134 people playing. Most schools don’t get that level of involvement from their students.”
Each of the 67 teams paid a $10 entry fee, which means the winner will walk away with $670 cash.
Zimmerman will pursue an exercise science degree at the University of Kentucky in the fall.
The Senior Stang started as a fun event, but as the competition progresses, students’ stress levels are high.
“Now, it’s gotten really intense and some students are getting tired of having to look over their shoulder all the time and wondering who is going to pop out of the bushes and spray them with water,” she said.
With 89 students left, it doesn’t appear the pressure will subside anytime soon.
“One of the girls dropped out because her parents got mad about students hiding in the bushes on their property. Other than that, everyone has loved the game.”
Some notable senior strikes have taken place in parking lots all over Oldham County, such as when a group of cheerleaders were soaked while leaving their award ceremony banquet.
“Probably the best story I’ve heard so far is about the boy at track practice who left his car unlocked. An assassin snuck inside and hid in the back seat with his water gun. The boy drove all the way home, parked, and the assassin sprayed him with water as he got out of the car.”
Senior Caroline Glascock said last week part of the student body called for a truce. “We all agreed to give each other a break for a couple of days because we were getting agitated. Most people respected the truce. We may have to do it again if it gets too intense.”
Zimmerman said there has been no resistance to the possible violent implications of the game on behalf of the school administration or concerned parents.
“People know it’s just for fun,” she said.
Story by Janell Oliver, special to The Oldham Era. E-mail us about this story at: firstname.lastname@example.org.