By Sophie Lim
Do you know where your class mascot is? For Anaya Raikar ’25, “Captain Bubbles the Seal sometimes disappears for long periods of time, only to be discovered in a closet in the MPR.” It seems to be a running theme that these furry, and often filthy, mascots can be neglected. One has to wonder: do these stuffed animals serve any purpose?
As a reminder, class mascots are part of a quirky, longstanding tradition at Winsor. Each year, the Class IVs spend a considerable amount of time deliberating on which furry friend they will bestow upon Class I. The decision culminates in a much anticipated event complete with treats, activities, and the unveiling of the new Class I mascot. In tandem, there is usually a buddy-bonding activity for Class IV and Class I to build their relationships.
So, what becomes of these furry friends after their debuts? Oftentimes in the Lower School homerooms, one can find a respective class’s mascot discarded in a recycling bin or another obscure place. Other times, one can find the mascots toted around by Lower Schoolers if they are not too disgusting. Finally, perhaps the most popular, the mascots can be found sitting in a dean’s office after being confiscated for a variety of student misdemeanors. Through it all, these stuffed animals certainly see a lot of action. Avery Fantasia ’29 said, “People in my class really care about the mascot, and at the beginning of the school year, there would be debates on which homeroom would have it that day.” In fact, these passionate Class II students cared so deeply about which homeroom the mascots would reside in that it can become “ a very heated argument and the mascot had to be confiscated for a month,” remarked Emma Beswick ’29.
The opinions on the importance of a grade’s mascot and the tradition of its bestowing are mixed. Fantasia said, “I think that having Class IV pick the mascot for Class I is a good tradition and helps build the bond between the Class I and IV buddies.” Raikar, a Class VI student, added “I liked the tradition of Class IV choosing our mascots. I especially liked the mascot presentation party where we got the chance to connect with our buddies.”
From both a Class I who received a mascot to a former Class IV who granted one, it seems there is value in the tradition itself. Building a stronger cross-class bond remains an important aspect of the event, as there are few opportunities for these relationships to develop over extended periods of time. However, regarding the significance of the stuffed animal itself, Beswick admitted, “I think that the tradition is good, but I don’t really care about the mascots.” These animals tend to lose the charm they possessed pretty quickly, it seems, bar the few heated debates about which homeroom they should reside in. The real meaning lies in the relationships Class I and IV are able to build through the tradition. So, as long as this tradition continues to strengthen our community and welcome new students, it looks like it’s here to stay, stuffed animals and all.
Class I: Penguin
Class II: Dynamite the Dinosaur
Class IV: Chewy the Sloth
Class VI: Captain Bubbles the Seal
Class VII: Pickles the Panda
Class VIII: Trax the Moose