A scavenger hunt around Spearfish

August 23, 2018

SPEARFISH — Maroon shirts sporting Spearfish Spartans were visible around town Monday, as teams of Spearfish Middle School staffers completed various tasks as part of a scavenger hunt.

“The purpose was a team building activity to get the staff to work together, compete with each other, and start the school year having fun together!” Brady Sumners, assistant principal/activities director, said.

The entire middle school staff participated, with teams made up of teachers, counselors, education support professionals (ESPs), and administrators.

“We created the groups to be people of various grade levels, ESPs who generally don’t spend time with each other,” sixth-grade teacher Rebecca Sukstorf said.

She explained that a few staff members felt the need to help the staff find more joy in their days and build relationships with one another.

“These strong bonds will hopefully help us both in our professional and personal lives. So a group got together and formed the Morale Mob (the M&M’s),” Sukstorf said. “This group is in charge of creating bonding activities that will foster friendship and fun. The group got together and came up with the in-service scavenger hunt idea. We have many more exciting things planned for the future.”

The group is made up of staff members Kathy Wolf, Paula Farley, Krystal Rogers, Mariah Gill, Danya Clark, Casey Sumners, Teri Aberle, Sukstorf, Carmen Frasier, and Marilee Woodard.

Tasks they had to complete during the scavenger hunt included dancing on the corner of Main Street and Jackson Boulevard; taking a photo at the Spearfish Police Department — and bonus points were given if a police officer was included in the photo; playing on a playground; reading books at Grace Balloch Memorial Library; and more.

“Everyone returned to the school with smiles and laughter,” Sukstorf said. “It was so much fun. Some staff said it was the best first-day in-service they have ever had.”

“The SMS staff had a blast,” Sumners said. “We are a competitive group that went to great lengths to make the challenge even more difficult on our counterparts. It was great to see the interaction and teamwork with staff that often do not spend time together due to the daily schedule they have with students.”

Sumners said he enjoyed the opportunity to interact, compete, and work together with the staff.

“Watching the new staff interact with the veteran staff and hearing the stories they had when everyone came back together was amazing,” Sumners said. “We have some amazing staff here at SMS, and being a part of this was so fun for everyone.”

“It helps remind us that school is not always math, science, English, etc., but sometimes 30 minutes of fun can change the entire day or week for a student,” he added. “We focus on relationships at SMS, and this event was a great way to build relationships and rapport within our own staff.”

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