Chapter 1 - Introduction
Responsibilities of Cheerleaders |
School Spirit |
Pep Rallies |
Planning a Homecoming Pep Rally
This book of Skits and Stunts for Pep Rallies has been written in the hopes that it will help the many cheerleaders throughout the country to plan better pep rallies and to present something new and different to their student body.
The Pep Rally is one of the most effective activities in moulding school spirit and school loyalty. It a'so instills various elements of sportsmanship into the student body and has a definite part in a secondary school curriculum. For this reason a Pep Rally should be much more than a "Yell Practice" session.
This book is an attempt to present the cheerleaders and their coach or sponsor with new ideas and actual routines that will help them in planning and presenting an effective Pep Rally and make it a valuable part of the overall educational program of the school.
The cheerleaders have a big responsibility in arousing school spirit and good sportsmanship in their school's athletic contests. It is their responsibility to instill in the students a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to their school; to increase the attendance at the school athletic contests and obtain the cooperation and respect of the students.
To obtain these many goals the cheerleaders are faced with the task of finding means of getting the students to work with them. The writer hopes therefore that this book will help the cheerleaders and their sponsors to present some new and interesting skits, stunts, entertaining ideas, etc. to the student body so that all will take a greater interest in the sports program of the school.
In the preparation of this book, skits and stunts were selected that can best be adapted to various situations. Many schools, as example, do not have football in their sports program. Many of the football skits can therefore be changed and arranged to a basketball setting and vice versa.
The most pressing needs of the majority of cheerleaders seems to hinge around, "How can we boost our school spirit?"; or "Our students don't seem to have enough interest in our athletic contests, pep rallies, etc."
These problems are placed as a challenge to the cheerleaders each season. Some schools have more trouble along these lines than others, but a group of cheerleaders with imagination, resourcefulness, talent, and the willingness to work can do much to help the situation a great deal. Instead of sitting around complaining about the situation that exists in their various schools a good group of cheerleaders should organize themselves, and plan activities to combat these problems.
Campaigns of different types to "Boost School Spirit" can be constantly planned and carried out during the week preceding games. Planning such days designated as "Color Days," when each student is urged to wear the school colors on them somewhere, to show that they are boosting the team; "Slogan Days" where students say an adopted slogan, such as "Smear the Bears" instead of "Hello," and say the slogan every time they meet someone in the hall, on the street, when they answer the telephone, answering the roll, etc. The slogan is the first thing that they say when they start to speak and then go on with what they were planning to say. The result, one hears all over school that whole day, "Smear the Bears," "Smear the Bears," etc. all day long. Another idea using slogans is to have a whisper campaign. Announce to the student body that someone, or a group of students, according to the number of students in your school, have been designated as the slogan master, and has free tickets to the game, show passes, or some other prize for the 100th person that whispers the slogan to him in the hallway passing between classes, or other times during the day. No one knows who this mystery person is, so the result is, students go up to each other all day whispering the slogan "Smear the Bears" to each other. The mystery person might have a small counter that he can punch every time someone whispers to him and the hundredth person that does can win the prize. A lot of interest can be created in this manner as well as helping to create the proper atmosphere for the rally. The winner could be announced at the rally climaxing the stunt. Putting the "hex" on the other team can also be used to create spirit. Any fad, mode of dress, wearing one sock up, one down, a scarf, one earring for girls, a handkerchief hanging out the back pocket for boys, etc., could be done for one day to "hex" the other team. Burning a candle the night before the game, etc., or any other thing that might be dreamed up might be used as a means to create a little feeling for the coming game. Signs placed around the school with various slogans, cartoons, depicting what you hope to do at the game, advertising the rally, etc., also help.
The Rally itself is the time and place where most of the very well planned activities could take place. This is the time new yells can be taught to the student body, members of the team identified to the student body, fiery pep talks given, some stunts, or a skit presented, songs, cheers, etc., molding the student body into one large united group pledging themselves to support the team and help them win. The pep rally is the climax of the week's campaign and the final session before the big game, and it should be planned in every detail so as to be fitting for such a place in the overall program. The rally is also a practice session, or rehearsal of the rooting section preparing them for organized support with organized cheering and other organized demonstrations. (The word, organized is used repeatedly to stress the point that the rooting section needs to be well organized in order to present the best possible showing at the game). The yells should be rehearsed so that everyone knows the words, and also just as important, the rhythm to yell them in. The use of sound effect cheers, "big noise" cheers where there is a loud yell, complete silence for a beat or so, and then another loud response, can make a cheering section sound very good. These points can and should be stressed at the rally so the students will know how to respond at the game.
The Pep Rally is one of the cheerleaders' best weapons against lax, or subdued school spirit, and the best use of this time should be utilized. The rally need not last for too long a time, 20 minutes is ample to do a great deal if every minute is planned. This way the rally will not drag in spots as is the usual case when the cheerleaders have to "kill" 45 minutes or an hour with pep rally activities. Make the rally short and to the point and inspiring key them up but don't wear them out.
The Pep Rally is also a good time to remind the student body about sportsmanship; but the cheerleaders should be careful to not "preach" to them, for this sometimes ruins the whole desired effect of the Rally.
A humorous short skit might also be presented at the rally, sometimes the skit should have a "moral" or some teaching aids, and other times the skit can be designed just for entertainment alone.
When planning your programs, stunts, etc. to increase school spirit, do not forget the parents and people in your community. The more people you can get interested in your school and its sport program, the better will be the attendance at the games. Arousing community interest will create an all around better school spirit and loyalty to your school by everyone it becomes a community project, as it should be.
An excellent way to help get the people in the area better interested in your school is by the use of booster badges. These may also be ribbons, buttons or just simply a card. This device is constantly used by many schools. Hundreds of large buttons, badges, ribbons, etc. could be made up reading: "I'm an Indian Booster." or "Boost the Indians"
You can sell these to the citizenry but be sure they wear them. Start with your own parents and insist that they wear the badges. The fad will spread, start conversation and gossip about your school and create a closer interest. A little item like a badge could be the answer to your school spirit problem.
Planning A Pep Rally
There are several important factors that should be considered in planning a pep rally.
First: The rally should be well organized and the program thoroughly planned beforehand. Since the time allotted is usually limited, careful timing is very important, so that each activity is given its share of time on the program. Then costumes, props., special equipment, etc., must be given due consideration and be accessible. The program must be arranged to keep things moving and changing at all times in a showmanship manner so proper rehearsal, timing and planning is of utmost importance.
Second: A good Pep Rally needs more than just a group of yells, some music by the band, and perhaps a speaker and the singing of the Alma Mater. A few special extras added to these regular necessities will make your Pep Rally a "howling success," which is the way you want it to be. If you have ever watched any of the leading television comedy shows, you will find that they usually follow the same pattern and procedure each week . . . the same characters appear and do something in more or less the same way as the week before but the lines are different. Your rally, too, can be arranged the same way each time, but use different, new material. The "stock" items of the rally must be retained at each session.
"Stock" Items for every Rally
- Talks by faculty, alumni, coaches, students
- Band or Pep Band
- School Song
- Introduction of Coach and Players when they are available.
Additional Items to be used as time permits
- Short Skits
- Novelty yells
- Clinic on rules, especially explanations of new game rules.
- Competitive Cheering
- Discussion on Sportsmanship or another short pep speech
1. Specialty Acts
Another thing to consider in preparing a pep rally is to be sure and consult the team coach as to when and what time he prefers it held. Can he and the team attend? After this is determined be sure to publicize the pep rally well in advance. Keep mentioning and advertising it wherever possible. Many schools mimeograph their programs, giving the new school yells, etc., so there is no excuse for anyone not knowing the words and songs, therefore creating more of an interest to attend.
Planning A Homecoming Pep Rally
In planning a high school or college Homecoming Celebration a great deal of work is involved. Since every school has a different situation those in charge must actually plan the program themselves. The information given below is therefore just an outline of some of the activities that can be used for a typical homecoming, after the date, game and time has been determined.
1. Chairmen or Committees: Appoint the various cheerleaders and pep club members as chairmen. Assign a definite task to everyone, so every part of
the schedule will receive proper attention and the work involved is widely distributed. On the more difficult assignments, assign two or more chairmen. As examples of the committees that will be necessary, there should be a chairman for:
Advertising and Publicity
Theme Selection and follow up
Pep Fest Meeting
Beauty Queen Nomination
Open House and Social
2. Theme: Every homecoming celebration should be based around a "theme." All advertising, costumes, decorations, etc. should promote this theme.
The "theme" could be:
Something your locale produces or is famous for
A musical theme.
A historical theme.
A theme on Science, Navigation, Railroad, Farming, Aeronautics, Engineering, etc.
A cartoon or comic strip theme.
A Western theme.
A "Famous Person" theme.
A Circus theme. Atomic Age theme.
3. Homecoming Queen: If you are to have a homecoming queen, she is usually a member of the senior class. She is elected by student vote of the
senior class. Her "attendants" may also be elected by student vote in the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. The identity of the "queen" is usually reserved for a special event and crowning at either an Alumni "Open House" the night prior to the game; at the bon fire rally or during half-time at the game and afterwards she is paraded around the sidelines in an automobile.
4. Advertising-: Many things can be done to give the homecoming plenty of fanfare:
Post signs in stores, cars, windows, etc.
Sell "slogan ribbons," "badges," "buttons," etc. to alumni, townspeople and students.
Announce and advertise contestant rules for electing the "queen."
Use school's public address system to daily announce the coming homecoming celebration.
Send several "write ups" to your local newspaper and your school paper and ask them to send out a photographer to photograph the candidates for "queen."
5. The Homecoming Pep-Fest: No exact program can be given but usually on the afternoon of the game, assuming that it will be played that night, the students and alumni assemble in the school auditorium or gymnasium or even in front of the school. The band is primed to play several rousing famous college marches and victory songs while the crowd is gathering. If possible the crowd could gather out side and form a conga line into the school gym or auditorium. Then the following program may fit your situation:
- Opening Band plays fight song and cheerleaders enter making a colorful appearance.
- When all cheerleaders are on stage and music stops, cheerleaders start a yell like this:
Yell Leaders: Who are the Tigers?
Crowd: We are the Tigers.
Yell Leaders: What kind of Tigers?
Crowd: Texarkana Tigers.
Yell Leaders: Then yell you Tigers, yell!
- One more snappy yell is then presented.
- Band plays a peppy song that the students know and can join in somewhere and sing. This is done to get everyone in the crowd to join in the activities.
- When song is over and the cheering subsides have some wellknown person say a few words about the coming game, this could be the coach, a teacher, player, etc. and have that person introduce an alumnus (if possible) who briefly talks about the game. These talks should not be over 2 minutes for each.
- A Skit could now be presented.
- Band plays at close of skit.
- Cheerleaders run out and lead two snappy yells.
- A planned interruption (humorous announcement, or series of jokes, etc.).
- A novelty yell.
- Another short speech by alumnus (possibly if the speaker is good natured you could frame up on him with some joke).
- Two more yells or one yell and a chant with the band.
- School Song. Close rally.
6. Victory Dance: Usually held in the school gym which has been appropriately decorated.
A Typical College Homecoming
Many colleges and high schools make their homecoming celebration the most spectacular event of the year. To illustrate how extensive these preparations are one needs only to visit a college campus on one of these days to see the many displays, decorations and original creations of the students. After the "theme" of the homecoming has been decided upon the various clubs, groups, sororities, fraternities, etc. go in competition with each other to see how much they can outdo the other in elaborate creations to exemplify the "theme." Prizes are usually offered for the most unusual display, etc.
At a recent homecoming celebration held on the University of Kansas campus at Lawrence, Kansas the "theme" selected was "cartoon or comic strip characters." Examples of the many characters used were "Dennis the Menace," "Mr. Magoo," "Tweety Bird," "The Road Runner," and about twenty-five other famous comic strip "celebrities."
The mascot of the University of Kansas is the "Jayhawk." In this particular homecoming they were playing the University of Missouri "Tigers." The K.U. students displayed literally hundreds of ways to humiliate the poor hapless tiger, usually by the "Jayhawk" who was disguised as a comic strip character.
Using crepe paper, lumber, chicken wire, paper napkins, etc. the "tiger" was beaten, stomped, hit on the head with a rolling pin, caged, hanged, run over by a train, car, etc. Finally at the end of a pep rally just before the game they burned, in effigy, a huge eight foot papier-mache replica of the Missouri "Tiger."
A Typical High School Homecoming
(by Ruskin High School, Hickman Mills, Mo.)
Our Pep Assembly was purely and entirely original. An exciting and very stimulating victory song started it off, setting an excellent mood for the rest of the program. The cheerleaders led a few yells and then presented "Gimmie the Beat", a novelty yell. The alumni were warmly welcomed back by our head cheerleader.
A humorous monologue, the story of a girl's first football game, was the opening skit. One of the team members was her boy friend and she frequently, and quite freely, gave comments about her boy friend and on the progress of the game.
A witch, complete with long, claw-like fingernails, straight and uncontrollable hair, high peaked hat, and sloppy clothing, was next on stage. She suggested that we take a peek in on the practice of our opponents and judge whether or not it would be possible to defeat them in our next Homecoming Game. With this, the curtains parted, revealing the girls dressed in jeans and sweat shirts, posing as the members of our opposing team. Towels were used for shoulder pads and our coach lent us some old football helmets. The skit was thoroughly enjoyed by both the faculty members and the student body. The theme of the skit was the idea that Ruskin should be able to win the game without the slightest effort, and it exaggerated the lack of knowledge of our opponents. The reason for the witch to act as emcee was the fact that Halloween was close at hand.
Our Pep Assembly ended with cheers, band numbers, and our school song. The Pep Assembly took place the last hour of the school day and the tremendous school spirit generated was carried home as everyone looked forward to the coming event of the evening. The student body left, positive that the game would be a victorious one.
Preparations Necessary for Homecoming
At Ruskin we believe in having fun as we do our work. We brought our old jeans and shirts and everyone pitched in, contributing their small part. Wrapping all the boxes was our biggest job, but by the night before the dance, we were fairly well prepared. On the night of the dance, we stayed after school in order to put up the decorations. We didn't want them to be seen until the dance. The tables were cleared and we made our final preparations for the dance. Theme
The theme of our Homecoming was "Gifts for the Queen". The half time, the band's program, and the dance kept to this idea. Queen Candidates and Attendants
Anyone who wanted a girl to run for Queen had to have a petition for her, with at least twenty-five names. On Wednesday, before the Friday of Homecoming, each class voted on their candidates, selecting one girl for attendant. The Seniors selected three, one of whom would be Queen. On Friday, the day of Homecoming, the entire student body selected our Queen. Homecoming Parade
Each candidate, and the Queen, had an escort and entered the field in a convertible. They circled the entire field, then were escorted in front of the throne, where the Queen was announced and crowned. The attendants, princesses, and Queen wore dark suits and white gloves. The Band Program.
Our band performed at half time ceremonies, by carrying out the theme "Gifts for the Queen". Four formations, appropriate for the theme, were created by our band director. The first formation was a present, followed by the song "Congratulations". The song was also sung over the P. A. system. The band then formed a key and played "Let Me Call You Sweetheart". "Wishing Will Make It So" was played while the band made a wishbone. They stood in the shape of a heart for the actual coronation.
Side View Front View
The shop made the frame for our Queen's throne. The back of the throne consisted of chicken wire, that stood about four feet high. We stuffed it with yellow napkins. Then we covered the frame with blue crepe paper. It was large enough so that the Queen and two princesses sat on it, with the three attendants sitting on the steps leading up to it. Decorations for the Dance
In carrying out the theme, "Gifts for the Queen", we covered all different size boxes and placed them around the cafeteria. The stairway, leading down to the cafeteria, was decorated with our school colors, blue and gold. The pillars, in the middle of the floor, were decorated with streamers. As you came in the door, the first thing you saw was a sign saying "Howdy Boids", and the throne under it.
Immediately following the victorious game, we held our annual Homecoming Dance. As we do not walk on our new gym floor, with street shoes, we held our dance in our new, modern cafeteria. It holds approximately 800 people. Everyone enjoyed the music provided by the "Bandmasters". We saw many of our old friends, as there were many alumni present. There was a procession of the Queen and her attendants onto the dance floor. The opening of the Dance, the first dance of the evening, was performed by the Queen and her escort.
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