Adventure Awaits: Destination Trojan Nation

Chanelle Camero, Community Editor

   Homecoming has been a pivotal part of MHS culture — every year students look forward to participating in the numerous events that the Associated Students of Mililani High School (ASMHS) and the class councils organize such as: lipsync, banner building, running for homecoming court and walking in the homecoming parade. This year’s homecoming theme is “Destination: Trojan Nation,” combining numerous concepts like “adventure,” “road trip” and “travel” into one. Planning for homecoming starts all the way in April when student body officers begin to coordinate with the OIA football schedule to set a date. Then ASMHS starts to plan out the year settling on homecoming rules, timelines, deadlines and point breakdown of the week’s events.

  “Whether it be through banner building, lipsyncs, parade camaraderie or simply participating in spirit week events, homecoming allows students and staff to make memories and represent Mililani with pride,” said Student Activities Coordinator Leilani Ward-Riehle. “They put in hundreds of hours to prepare for homecoming week. The behind the scenes work often goes unnoticed, so getting to watch them launch their idea not just in homecoming week but throughout the school year is amazing.”

     The common idea All Council Executives (ACE) found while brainstorming this year’s homecoming theme was choosing their own adventure and remembering where they came from. It serves as a reminder of what homecoming is all about: a celebration of Mililani pride with the community, alumni and students. “With our now adventure and travel inspired theme, we were then able to brainstorm more specific details, like decorations, the spirit dress-ups, and titles for our other homecoming activities, like the dance and service project,” said ASMHS President Senior Sasha Arreola. “A big part of the discussion was about making sure that everyone will feel included throughout the week. As leaders of this school, we know that we represent our peers and our community. We made sure that the decisions we were making were on behalf of the school and not solely based on personal interest.”

     With a lot of brainstorming and creative thinking, ACE was able to incorporate their homecoming theme into every activity planned for homecoming week. Along with the activities, the theme was incorporated into things such as the word choice in the morning bulletins and pep rally scripts. “We often looked online for inspiration and whenever we found something that we really liked, we tried to twist it to make it our own.  ACE worked together to make sure that we established a complete theme, where we all understood exactly what it meant to us. With our theme, we implemented into everything homecoming – titles, dress ups, decorations — all inspired by adventure and travel,” said Arreola. 

     During the homecoming planning process, ACE made sure to make decisions with their peers and community in mind. One of the goals is to provide everyone with many opportunities to get involved and show their spirit. “The Mililani Complex-area schools are joining together to give back to the Institute for Human Services (IHS). IHS does a lot for our homeless population in Hawai’i. I am proud that along with our homecoming festivities we participate in the tradition of ‘Trojans Give Back,’ allowing our students to not only celebrate school spirit and pride but to make a difference to those who are in need,” said Ward-Riehle.

     They decided to call the service project “PACK WITH LOVE” to connect to the homecoming theme. Each school will be doing their own IHS drive. “Homecoming is a community event, so doing this project together brings to Mililani a sense of unity.  Together, we are giving back to the community we grew up in,” said Arreola. “It’s about realizing what we have and what we should be grateful for. It also shows the importance of helping others and giving back.”

     This year, the homecoming parade will be on a Friday instead of a Saturday. A few years ago, it was suggested to be moved to the weekend in order to be more community inclusive. “Historically the parade was on a school day. This allowed the area elementary schools (Kipapa and Waena) to be able to watch the parade,” said Ward-Riehle. “We are going back to the Friday parade and have modified the schedule to accommodate.”

     Homecoming festivities will take place on the week of Sept. 30 to Oct. 5. The homecoming pep rally will be on Oct. 3, the parade and dance will be on Oct. 4 with the game to follow on the night of Oct. 5.