The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The Caravan Cup should make a return

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James McCormac ’25
The Caravan Cup trophy with Brother John’s spitoon on top has been dormant in recent years.

The Caravan Cup–a foreign concept to almost every Mount Carmel student. It was an award formerly granted to the collective school floor that was best in a bunch of competitions. This included criteria like average GPA and collecting money and clothes for different drives. The cup was last handed out in 2014 and was discontinued. This is similar to how Studium was phased out of MC as well a few years ago. 

The actual cup itself was a physical object that was presented to the winners. “It was the spittoon of Brother John,” said Mr. John Stimler, who teaches theology and works in Campus Ministry. “He used to run the whole thing back then.” A spittoon is a cup made for spitting into, and is usually used by those who chew tobacco. 

Some of the most charitable years from MC students came while the Caravan Cup was still a thing. The competition aspect that it brought to Studium encouraged MC students to bring in items for food and clothing drives or collect money for the Missions or special fundraisers. “Competition is big at MC,” said junior Dominic Mancilla. “I think guys like to be better than each other and compete. So everything gets better if it’s a competition.” 

With Studium coming back to MC this year,  it would be awesome to see another old tradition reinstated. So far this year Studiums have been underperforming in both mission collection and in charity drives. If a competitive aspect was brought back, then it’s very possible these numbers could increase dramatically. One of MC’s most successful programs is the Walkathon, and Studiums will compete for top donor spots there as well. If these events are so successful because of the competition aspect, then bringing the cup back would be a good thing for the MC community.  

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One more important thing about the Caravan Cup, and likely one the students would appreciate the most, is that it was supposedly a lot of fun. Most current teachers who were at MC those years ago speak of fond memories of seeing Studiums receive the cup. It is not too late for MC to bring the Cup back this year. There is still hope to see the Caravan Cup be given again. 

“I kinda think that bringing that back would increase the Studium experience,” said Dr. Jon Berry, the MC Latin teacher who was around to see the original Caravan Cup. “Perhaps if that Studium experience made students more connected and more of a community, then it would also increase charitable donations.”

Even if they decided to not bring the Caravan Cup itself back, there should be something competitive added to Studium. Currently it’s just a free period that doesn’t have many exciting events or competitions.  “It’s so boring,” said senior Dermott Doyle. “Why even have it at this point if we’re not going to do anything in it.” 

A few Studiums have incorporated board games into the period and have noticed an uptick in competition and bonding among students who otherwise wouldn’t socialize during the school day.

“Once I brought in Uno and Connect Four,” said Mr. Tim Baffoe, “my Studium went from relative silence to students challenging each other to game every Studium period.” A few weeks ago during an extended Studium period, the entire Third Floor brought tables into the hallway and held a giant board games session, and the cross pollination among Studiums that day showed real promise.

Students on the third floor gather in the hallway during Studium on December 5 to play board games against students from other Studium.
(Mr. Dan Haggerty)

The competitive elements that used to be in Studium, such as intramurals, added a bonding experience that can’t be replaced. The Caravan Cup would be the best way to not only bring back an old tradition, but also bring competitiveness back to Studium. “I think it’s possible that it could take it to the next level,” said Dr. Berry. 

Not only would the Caravan Cup bring that sense of competitiveness back into Studium, but it would also be really fun for the students. There are so many weeks in a year where there is nothing going on event wise in the school. Adding the Caravan Cup back would cure a little bit of the MC students’ boredom. “I’m all for competition,” said Ryan Clark, a peer leader in his Studium. “I think competition breeds improvement, and it gives students something to strive for mid year. That’s a great idea.” 

The Caravan Cup would be an awesome thing to bring back to MC. The students would love it, and it would be something that they could look forward to all year long. This is also a great opportunity to try and get the numbers up for charitable donations at MC. Even if it is not the Caravan Cup that is brought back, there needs to be something added to Studium, some competitive element that makes students actually want to participate in some way, shape, or form. 

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About the Contributor
James McCormac '25, Staff Writer
James McCormac is a junior at Mount Carmel. He lives in Bridgeport and attended Old Saint Mary's Grammar School. James is a member of the Varsity football team, the chess team, boxing, and The Merchant. Outside of school James enjoys doing volunteer work. His hobbies are reading and lifting.