Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and the Wild West

Why is everyone wearing checked shirts and bandanas?

On August 19 at 10 a.m, the gym, decorated and themed as “The Wild West,” starts to fill up with students, both young and old. Soon, they are going to be paired up for three hours of complete chaos.

The pairing begins, and not long after, almost every little kid is paired up with a high school student — his “big brother” or “big sister” for the day. The day has begun.

“Between upper years and early years there has always been a gap due to the age differences. Big Brother Big Sister is the one day where you’re encouraged to reduce that gap and make new friendships,” says Tenzin Yigha, Class of 2018.

“BBBS can help the younger kids to find role models,” adds Joon Kang, Class of 2018. Yigha and Kang are co-presidents of the National Honor Society, the organizers of the event.

In one corner of the gym, a trampoline is overcrowded with little, bouncing kids, while their respective “big brothers” and “big sisters” watch over.

Just across, pairs compete in horse-racing, straddling thermocol straws together and racing towards the finish line.

Around the gym, some dribble balls and shoot baskets. Some just remain seated on the bleachers, munching on chips, and —obviously—taking selfies.

At the entrance, kids beam while getting unicorns painted on their cheeks at the face-painting stall. Right besides, some click away at a little photo booth.

Up in the gymnastics room, brothers and sisters watch over the kids jumping through a little obstacle course. More pictures are taken.

After a while, everyone is called onto the main court to join the NHS members for some dancing.

At about noon, the pairs start to head out for lunch. The dining hall is bustling as students talk with mouths filled with fries. There’s laughter heard from every table, along with the clatter of hungry forks diving into meals.

A monkey sneaks into the dining hall and leaps onto one of the tables, ensuing five minutes of shrieks. The bhaiya ji’s are there to save the day.  

“I actually made friends with my little brother. I thought the kid assigned to me wouldn’t even talk to me,” Priyansha Agarwal, Class of 2020, says, thinking of the event later.

Kids wipe the cheesecake off their mouths while bidding goodbye to their brothers and sisters. The last pictures are taken.

NHS members sigh in relief. The day has come to an end.

Reflecting on the event, NHS member Khushi Agrawal, Class of 2019, says, “I think it went really great. We were very organized and we started planning BBBS much earlier than we had last year. I think the NHS presidents Yigha and Joon did a great job. On the day itself, there were a lot of students from Upper Years that showed a lot of interest and everyone ended up having a lot of fun.”



Photo by Aarti Malhotra

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