Rock Paper Scissors: For SCLA its More Than a Game


Photo courtesy of Jared Dettlebach

Ulric Pierce, Nia Pedrett, Susan Campie, and Brian Kim discuss the Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament in the lower D-wing hallway, on April 6th, with 8 days left before the tournament.

As April 14th and the second annual Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament approaches, Silver Creek Leadership Academy (SCLA) students work behind the scenes in preparation for this event’s second year. The class is divided into groups, each with a different role in the planning and execution of the event. Before the event takes place, members of the prizes, communications, brackets, and other groups are working diligently to get the show running.

First of all, what exactly is this Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament? Well in the wise and elaborate words of SCLA member Ulric Pierce, who is working on the brackets:

“The event is a big old rock paper scissors tournament,” Pierce says.

Furthermore, it is a day-long battle royal among students with the simple objective of defeating and taking the bead necklaces of fellow students through games of rock-paper-scissors. At the end of the day, champions with the most beads per hall will be taken down to the commons where they will host what Pierce describes as “the official rock-paper-scissors spectacle tournament.” So how is SCLA Involved?

“Mr. Redding’s 9th grade [SCLA] class is in charge… They are in small committees working on different aspects of the event like marketing and the actual distribution of the beads, the finals and what that is going to look like,” Carrie Adams, SCLA teacher says.

Evidently there is a lot of effort that goes into running this event. However, this work is placed upon the ninth graders for more reasons than succeeding in the event’s execution, Adams continues to stress the importance of the ninth graders’ participation and its effect on the SCLA students.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to practice seeing what goes into running an event,” Adams says. “Because we think that is important for them as young leaders to see what goes into that.”

These students are separated into different groups to learn these valuable lessons. So what are the roles of these groups? Pierce said his group’s job was to gather the champions and create the brackets, but pre-tournament this group is not the most busy of the bunch. There are many other things that go into the event like Adams said. These jobs are filled by groups like the communications group, composed of Nia Pedrett, Olivia Wert, Addison Bachrach, and Susan Campie.

“We are the communication group we have to send out emails to find a master of ceremonies,” Pedrett explains. “We asked Mr. Finnestead, our principal, to be our speaker, to say stuff like ‘these are our winners’ and ‘rock paper scissors shoot’, having fun and cheering up a crowd. We also had to email a video crew for live-streaming on YouTube and he is going to post it on his Instagram for everybody to see.”

Another communications group member, Campie joins in:

“We also email the teachers just letting them know about the event,” Campie adds.

As such, the communications group is very important when it comes to the setup of the event.

Being in charge of setting up the event and conveying information to all the teachers has made this group critical to the success of the Rock Paper Scissors tournament. But what about the payoff? That is a job for another subsection of SCLA, the prize group, composed of Lilly Wetzel, Abigail Bennett, Avery Hunter, and Nicholas Quintana.

“The winners from each wing get a prize, and then the winner of the whole thing gets a bigger prize,” Lily Wetzel says.

This group is in charge of deciding those prizes and are pretty far along in the planning. They assure that they have a solid plan and believe most of the other groups do as well. Unfortunately nothing can be said about what the prizes are, other than a hint from Bennett, who says:

“They are soft in your hand, that is the only thing you are getting, we cannot disclose such precious information,” Bennett says.

However, this group assures the quality of the event as Quintana concludes with a statement saying:

“We are working our hardest to make sure there’s a fun event that everyone remembers,” Quintana says.

Speaking of memory, there is another thing to note: this is the second Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament, so SCLA and administration has been working hard to improve it. The most notable difference in the event is the date. This year, it takes place on April 14th, however, last year it was right before winter break. Adams thinks this change is important.

“There was concern that there was a lot of testing going on where we thought it was going to be relaxing, there was more stress,” Adams explains. “We know it was a distraction if kids are running around wanting to play rock paper scissors. So what we didn’t want to do was cause distractions when they were stressing out about finals and when we were trying to get things ready and celebrate and be a positive piece, it was feeling like the vibe we were getting from some people was ‘this is causing more stress.’”

There was much discussion over the dates, but Mr. Finnestead suggested having it right after PSAT testing to give a break to the students, this was deemed the best solution. Evidently the SCLA groups and administration are already working together to bring a simply delightful event to Silver Creek. The only hope is that all of Silver Creek has fun and SCLA students learn a few things on the way.