I was asked to give a “State of the Season” to this point and I am honored to do so. We just had another successful weekend which brought our total log count to around 1000 logs. Great work, Aggies! That’s an impressive number especially with how many cuts have been cut short or cancelled due to weather so far this season. It’s a testament to how motivated Aggies never give up and take on the job at hand with grit and determination. Keep it up! There is still a lot of logs to get out of those woods and I know you’ve got this.
This was also Family Cut and I think it was one of the biggest turnouts for that cut I have seen in all the years I have been a part of Bonfire. Around 150 parents came out to see what their children spend their weekends doing and also received some firsthand knowledge on just how tough a job it really is. Thank you to all of you that came out to Cut and thank you to ALL the parents that let their young people participate throughout the season. I know it probably sounded strange when your child first told you they were not coming home on a weekend because they were staying here to participate in Cut. I imagine there were some conversations that started with “What!? I struggled to get you to mow the lawn, now you are staying there to clear brush!?” From the outside, it does sound strange, but the work these young people are putting in does much more than just clear some land or build a stack of logs that we burn. Without even realizing it, they are building what will become lifelong bonds with their fellow Aggies. They are transforming themselves into strong young men and women with the resolve to take on any task or situation. They are becoming leaders and developing work ethics that will take them far in life. I know you are proud of them and you will become even prouder as you see what they accomplish and become as people.
Family Cut is also a good time for the students to see just how much the work they are doing can affect those that are not directly involved in Bonfire. Most of us that have built Bonfire went through that phase where you just didn’t think that anyone that has never worked on Bonfire could have the same pride and spirit as you. As you gain perspective, you realize that Bonfire means something to all Aggies and, although it may not be the same point-of-view, that same pride and spirit is there. As a person directly working on Bonfire, you get to realize another sense of pride in that something you and your friends built is a source of pride and spirit for ALL Aggies. When the parents are out, you get a first taste of that. This Family Cut was no different. As I walked around the woods and listened to the conversations happening, one common thread was there: The pride that the parents have in what all these young people (their young people) are doing. That’s just the beginning. You will see that same pride in the faces of old Ags, current students, and even future Aggies whenever Bonfire is mentioned, discussed, or watched. You did that, Ags. You and all your hard work to this point.
Thank you, once again, parents, for sharing your young people with us. Crews, thank you for your work so far. Do what you need to do to get ready to Build the Hell Outta Bonfire this weekend. Study, hydrate, check your equipment, and get some sleep.
Snowflakes melt out here… But they are picked up and reformed into something strong that everyone can be proud of.
Scott Coker ‘92
Chairman – Board of Directors