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Monday, June 6, 2011

Jamboree! brings entire DC SCORES community together for season-ending celebration

MacFarland (green) and Oyster-Adams in the MS girls title game.
 Throughout each DC SCORES season, teams of poet-athletes get the opportunity to travel to neighboring schools for friendly soccer games. Some schools also pair up for special events and field trips.

But for most of the season, poet-athletes don’t experience the size and breadth of the DC SCORES program. They don’t get to play against and interact with all of the 800 poet-athletes from throughout the District.

On Saturday at Trinity University, they got that opportunity during the 16th annual Jamboree! end-of-season celebration.

“This is A LOT,” Truesdell Education Campus’ Freddy Ramirez said, gazing around at the soccer games being played all around him. “This is really, really good because we get to see how other teams (from other parts of the city) play and interact with them.”

That’s exactly what close to 50 soccer teams representing 26 schools experienced Saturday on Trinity’s three-tiered athletic fields. On the main level, elementary school games took place. Up a hill, all of the middle schools were in action. And down below, teams took a break from soccer to visit different activity booths, get some face painting, eat lunch and rest up for their next game.

“It’s like a marathon,” Kamari H. of Brookland said as the day wound down. “It’s like a (long) parade!”

The day began with the City Cup championship games, as schools arrived and crowded around the perimeter of two fields to see four elementary school teams play.

Tubman ES learns how to become a firefighter.
In a pair of competitive games, the Burrville girls defeated Brightwood 3-1 and the Brightwood boys beat Arts and Technology Academy 4-1. Afterward, all the teams received medals and took pictures. But they didn’t have much time to celebrate because there were several more games to be played.

Just minutes after the title games, all the fields were rearranged and all the teams had arrived. DJ RBI was blaring tunes. Faces were getting tattooed. Fun, silly relay races were energizing poet-athletes.

An action-packed day was just getting underway.

“It just brings everyone together to have a good time,” MacFarland girls soccer coach Asa Davis said. “They get to enjoy the face painting, the food.

“In the end, everyone wants to win, but it’s all about having fun.”

The Jamboree! also has a learning component. Throughout the day, teams filtered down to the parking lot to get a tour of a fire truck from a platoon of DC firefighters.

Students learned about the difference between a wagon and a truck (a truck has ladders); students learned that firefighters get dressed into their gear in less than a minute while driving to extinguish a fire; and much, much more.

“We learned how much water is in a fire truck and how long the ladder is,” said Anthony M. of Raymond Education Campus.

The answers? A truck holds 500 gallons of water and there are 10-, 12- and 24-foot ladders.

Students also visited a Colgate table to learn how to properly take care of their teeth; stopped by a booth set up by the Capital City Area Health Education Center to learn about healthy eating; and picked up free books at a mini library.

Between students, parents, a large group of volunteers and community members, more than 1,000 people enjoyed a day under the sun that put a wrap on the DC SCORES spring season and got participants excited about the three free summer camps beginning in just two weeks.

“It really doesn’t matter if you win or not. Just have fun,” Kamari said as she prepared for Brookland’s final game.

Judging from the smiles all over Trinity’s athletic fields, just about everyone shared that feeling.

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