Cailini: The New Normal

By Riley Hilbert, Nina Galindo-Calvete, and Leilani Quintero
JUN. 3, 2021

COVID-19 has caused several problems for everyone, including minimizing plans and gatherings. Everyone, particularly schools, had to find new ways to adjust to this new normal. Many changes have had to be made in schools in order to comply with the CDC guidelines and ensure the safety of all students and faculty. As a result, many school events that students look forward to each year had to be canceled. For high school students, these events included field trips, homecoming, prom, graduation, and other activities. It is a tradition at St. Thomas Aquinas High School to hold an event called Cailini. Cailini is a week-long competition for girls of all grades. This was nearly canceled, but STA found a way to keep this tradition going, while also enforcing safety regulations.

Cailini translates to the word “girls” in gaelic, and has been a tradition at STA since 1976. This event was first created when girls did not have the option to play sports, so the school gave them an opportunity to compete in a different way. Volleyball, powderpuff, bakeoff, relay, dodgeball, tug of war, aerobics, gymnastics, high impact, and various forms of art were among the games in this competition. These events would normally be spread out over the course of a week, but this year, changes had to be made. This took a lot of planning from the teachers to ensure that we kept this tradition going. Each event had to be specifically chosen to make sure that the girls were socially distanced from each other.

Instead of giving the students a full week of activities, girls who wanted to participate were provided the day off of school. Since teams were unable to be formed for the events, students selected certain activities that they wanted to attempt. The activities primarily consisted of relay races, along with puzzles, aerobics, and high impact. Each grade level was distinguished by a different shade of green t-shirt. They were also divided into separate sections on the field so that they could be spread out if they were not participating in one of the activities. The event was meticulously organized and very well planned.

Overall, the seniors won, beating the juniors by only 3.5 points. The results were as expected but unlike last year, the freshmen managed to win one of the activities. Although many of the girls were left with a sunburn, the event provided much needed fellowship and an opportunity for students and faculty to gather safely and maintain one of the important traditions that defines the high school experience at STA.

Photos Courtesy of Stacey Rosonow