Ready… set… Spring Break at home


Lizzie Balestreri, Senior Staff Writer

Spring break approached us very quickly, and some felt upset about the fact that they were unable to travel and relax on a nice beach amidst the current pandemic. Not to worry- there were plenty of activities to fill the time. Whether it was relaxing with some self-care, exercising, or spending time with friends and family, one did not need to spend a dull moment during the past break. 

Some safe activities that researchers approved include during the pandemic included, but are certainly not limited to, camping, exercising, and online tours. Camping is a great way to get outdoors while still socially distancing. Experts have written and provided much information on tips for safe camping. Such tips include making sure not to forget cooking utensils and plenty of food, in addition to a cooler. They say it is also wise to prepare meals before leaving. Researchers at CNN say it is better to go camping in smaller groups, to reduce the risk of obtaining or getting Covid-19. 

Mr. Andrew Lodes, a theology teacher at St. Joseph’s Academy, provided tips and advice for anyone looking to go on a nice hike or to go camping. 

“Hawn State Park, Pickle Creek, and Castlewood State Park are great spots. Montauk, Hawn State Park, or any other national parks are great places to go camping,” Mr. Lodes said.

He added that some hiking and camping essentials include “good hiking boots, an extra pair of socks, bug repellent, and a water container.” 

As for exercising, which is extremely important to maintain one’s health, researchers have concluded that gyms are very risky because someone who has previously used a machine could have the virus and spread it to others. It is also believed that even gym classes such as aerobics, yoga, and cycling classes, have the same risk. 

Online tours are an excellent way to keep the brain actively working. Some great online tours can be given at the St. Louis Zoo, the Aquarium at Union Station, the City Museum, the Art Museum, the Science Center, the Botanical Gardens, and many more. It is crucial to maintain brain activity while on breaks from schooling or work. 

Sophie Gloriod, a senior at St. Joseph’s Academy, shares her plans for this past break. 

“I was excited for spring break this year even though I [stayed] home. It was fun to explore St. Louis and try out new restaurants, go to the Ferris Wheel, go to the Zoo and Aquarium, and just hang out with my friends. It was different, but just as fun as going to a different city,” Sophie said. 

Mrs. Amy Madej, one of the Fine Arts teachers at St. Joe, provided activities for students to partake in if they were home for spring break. 

“Try Tie-Dying! Be sure to get something that is 100 percent cotton (check the tag). That way, you’ll get bright colors that will not look faded. You can buy any sort of tie-dye kit from crafts stores or online,” Mrs. Madej said. 

She also suggested String Art.

“A lot of craft stores and hardware stores sell small pre-cut pieces of wood. Paint or stain the wood and draw out your design. Purchase small wire nails to hammer into the wood and add string,” she said. 

A third and final activity that Ms. Madej recommended was Nail Polish Marbling.

“If you have an extra bottle of nail polish laying around, an old container, some water and something to dip, and a stick, you can create awesome marbled designs! You could even marble rocks and flower pots for a fun garden addition.”

     In addition to arts and crafts, another way to keep the brain actively working is by reading. Researchers have confirmed that reading involves a complex network of circuits and signals in the brain and as one’s reading ability matures, those networks also get stronger and more sophisticated. Reading books set in destinations one wished to be at during Spring Break, like Paris, California, Florida, Australia, etc. was a lively way one could have enjoyed their spring break at home. 

Ms. Jennifer Millikan, the Director of Library Services at St. Joseph’s Academy, approved of these ideas and gave more suggestions. 

“There are fun books about the different neighborhoods to read, like Florissant, by John A. Wright, Sr., Ballwin, by David Fiedler, Kirkwood, by Vicki Berger Erwin, East Alton, by Jason D. Bricker and Judith M. Richie, and many more,” Ms. Millikan said. 

To find out more about the history of St. Louis, Ms. Jennifer Millikan provides great advice. 

“There are a lot of fun books about landmarks in St. Louis or who is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, which can be fun to read about and explore. Some great books to read about this are Movers and Shakers and Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales From Bellefontaine Cemetery,” Ms. Millikan said. 

Staying home for spring break was not the end of the world. Many things could have been done to still have a fun and festival spring break. Traveling was not the only way to experience excitement; camping, exercising, online tours, and art projects are a great way to keep the mind entertained. There were countless ways to have a blast while staying in for spring break.