Mazes and Zombies and Wizards – Oh, My!

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What do trampled lanes of corn, dancing zombies, and the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series have in common? Not much, at first glance… but if you ask the ladies at La Europa Academy, they could tell you.

On the morning of October 18th, the girls piled into the vans and headed to Thanksgiving Point to conquer the corn maze. Along the way, they also got to jump on a giant “jumping pillow” (a trampoline about the size of a house), go on tractor and hay rides, side down giant slides, and play other games. Afterwards, we took everyone to a local consignment shop so the girls could go shopping for their Halloween costumes. That evening, we headed up to Kingsbury Hall on the campus of the University of Utah to attend the Odyssey Dance Theatre’s highly acclaimed performance, “Thriller”. (You can see a small sampling of what was performed here.)

The next day, the girls found out that La Europa had been magically transported overnight and had become a part of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As such, the girls needed to be sorted into one of the four houses at Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. With the help of a sorting hat, they then gathered into their groups and learned about the House Cup competition which was to begin that day. Every day for a week, teachers, staff, therapists, and others awarded points for good behavior which were then tallied and recorded in the great hall. Girls also were awarded points for creativity, use of resources, and use of space in decorating a portion of the residence or school of their choosing.

The following Friday, October 26th, they gathered in the great hall to hear about the final competitions for which they could earn points towards the cup. In the morning, they completed a horcrux hunt, which led them around campus searching for clues so they could collect and destroy Voldermort’s hidden magical objects. They were in a race against time, with the houses finishing first receiving the most points. After the hunt, Eliza, our cook, planned fish and chips to fit our theme for the day, and streamed an English radio station while serving the girls food. After lunch, they played two other games. A wizard’s duel tested their skills at being quick on the draw with trivia, and “Lockhart’s Memory” tested their visual recall skills.

After completing all the tasks, the girls gathered for a party with treats and potions described in the Harry Potter books. The House Cup was close. After the votes of several judges were tallied, the Hufflepuff house won the decorating contest. Ultimately, the Ravenclaws took the house cup this year, and every house received Euros for their participation and effort. We finished the day by watching a Harry Potter film of the girls’ choice.

The month is still not over, and there are some activities to come, but October has been a very fun time at La Europa. We love the girls’ imagination and willingness to participate!

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