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W.G. Murdoch School to host annual Cake Walk event

Having fun is a cake walk when you're a W.G. Murdoch student

Students and staff at W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield are preparing to host their annual cake walk event – a larger-than-life game of chance where students vie for baked goods and prizes – on April 14.  

According to Shannon Booth, who teaches band and leadership to Grade 6 to 12 students at W.G. Murdoch, the event is a longstanding tradition at the school and has been happening every year since before she came to Crossfield eight years ago.  

She said in the simplest terms, the event is a game of musical chairs, but instead of trying to plant oneself on the last available seat, students aim to cover the greatest number of painted tiles, which are scattered across the floor of the school’s gymnasium.  

“All of the kids come down to the middle of the gym, we play music and then the music stops. They hit the floor and try to stretch out and cover as many numbers as possible,” Booth said. “If their number is drawn, they win a cake.” 

In previous years, Booth said student’s families have donated cakes and other baked goods to be awarded to the winners of the game, but last year due to COVID-19 health restrictions, students competed for gift cards instead.  

She said the modified cake walk during the pandemic looked different in other ways, too.  

“We ran eight simultaneous cake walks for the different grades since we were cohorted,” she said. “We were able to continue, which was nice, but I know this is an activity and an event in our building that everyone really looks forward to.  

“So, we’re pretty pumped that we can all be in the gym together [again].” 

Booth said this year, families can choose to either contribute a baked item or a gift card according to their own comfort level.  

She said at its core, the event is an opportunity for students to participate in a school activity that builds connection and a “sense of belonging” in the school. She added the event is student-led and seeks to engage the entire student-body from grades 6 to 12.  

“Something that’s really unique about Murdoch is that we have students here for seven years, so the traditions they experience their first time here, they’ll get to experience when they’re at the top of the school food chain,” she said.  

Booth added some students are nervous to engage in their first cake walk when they are in Grade 6, but as they go through it each year, they become more and more confident participating.  

“They get to know some of the different strategies, and they get to interact with kids from other grades,” she said. “And then when they get to high school, they’re the ones who are emceeing [the event], who are organizing it and who are planning it, so it kind of comes full circle.” 

She said now that health restrictions have eased, students are able to experience leading and participating in the event as they did pre-pandemic.  

Carmen Cundy

About the Author: Carmen Cundy

Carmen Cundy joined the Airdrie Today team in March 2021.
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