As a member of the Student Association (SA) at Mount Pisgah Academy, I get to set up and help with many of the events hosted on campus. SA’s most recent event was the Thanksgiving dinner, held in the cafeteria on November 15th. Staff members dined with their families, while students reserved seats with their friends, as they ate a home cooked meal prepared by the kitchen staff and the SA team. In order to put on such a large event, a lot of planning and preparation has to occur. Decorations and food preparation had to be taken into consideration when planning the fun gathering. Additionally, SA had to plan for social distancing this year so that everyone could enjoy each other’s company, while also staying safe.
My favorite part of preparing for the dinner was decorating. Our SA sponsors bought us fall decor, so that we could decorate each table. We covered each one with tablecloths in browns, golds, yellows, and oranges, and we put real fall leaves on them as a centerpiece. We put thanksgiving themed paper cups, plates, and napkins on the tables, so that not only would they be cleanup friendly, but covid friendly. Overall I would say the decorations were simple, but nice. They definitely added a cozy feeling to the environment when everyone came in and sat down.
The food was also a huge part of the event. It definitely took the most amount of preparation, and we had to serve it too. We prepared dinner roast with a jelly topping, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, and rolls for around 100 people. We also had to cut slices of apple, pumpkin, and strawberry rhubarb pie, which we topped with ice cream and whipped cream. When I served the food, I enjoyed it a lot. When we served the pie, I would serve the whipped cream for those who wanted it. I really enjoyed creating swirly dollops of cream on top of the pie slices. I think the most fun I had that night was while serving the food while my fellow SA members.
The toughest part of getting ready for this meal was planning everything with social distancing in mind. Usually, this event is held entirely in the cafeteria, with 20-30 tables packed with 8 people at each, which makes for a pretty crowded setting. In the past there would also be a basket of rolls on each table, a buffet where students could serve themselves, and SA members passing out pie and refreshments to each table. However, MPA did not want to cancel the event because of the virus, but rather accommodate for it. This meant masks were worn while not eating, setting up more tables in other nearby locations, so that people would be spread out to 4 at a table instead of 8, no rolls on the table, and all food and dessert served by SA members. I was hoping the event would still have a cozy and heartwarming environment, where students could enjoy their food, and get to know each other better. I think
we achieved that. I know that the staff definitely enjoyed the meals. As I was serving food to many of the faculty members, they smiled at me, and told me how amazing the food looked. It made me feel really happy, that even though covid made things more complicated, we could still spend this time together.
A good portion of the students and staff members at Mount Pisgah Academy look forward to the SA Thanksgiving dinner each year, for the food and festivities it brings. I know I definitely love it. I feel like, here on campus, the thanksgiving dinner is sort of an official opening to the holiday spirit. It helps us remember what God has given us, even if we do not acknowledge it
enough. Just being able to eat, hang out with friends, and celebrate what we do have, is enough for me to call this one of my favorite events of the year.
—By Emma Boughman
Photos by Bob Vaughan.
Please Note: Photos shown are from last year’s Thanksgiving Dinner.