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How to Plan the Perfect Pep Rally

Plan the perfect pep rally insta
Who doesn't love a great pep rally! You get out of class early (usually on a Friday when you're over the
week anyway) to have fun! It's always a good surprise to see what entertainment awaits!

Then again, if you're the one planning the pep rally it can be stressful! You want it to run smoothly, be entertaining, and be something everyone absolutely loves and remembers! Let's face it, we put too much pressure on ourselves. I mean, who really remembers everything that happened during all of your high school pep rallies? Definitely not me.

Hopefully you can use these tips to make the planning process a bit easier the next time you're responsible for planning a pep rally at your school.

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Have a plan.

This one probably seems pretty obvious, but get a plan together. The sooner, the better!

The first thing to decide is who will be planning the pep rally. I really like to utilize my team for this! Afterall, this is their pep rally. You can have your seniors, your varsity team, or ask for volunteers that are excited to form a committee.

The second part of having a plan is making sure the committee considers all of the initial questions regarding the pep rally so they can make some quick decisions as a group.

  • Will there be a theme?
  • Are there other clubs that would make great organizing partners?
    • Sometimes this is a great way to get better participation!
    • Don't forget to contact the band and utilize your mascot!
  • Location: Will it be held in the gym or the stadium?
  • Will there be a spirit week leading up to the pep rally?
  • Will there be assigned seating for classes? Or assigned class colors?
  • Will you be decorating?
  • How will you advertise?
    • Morning announcements
    • Signs/banners
    • Social media
    • School letter board

Create a timeline/script.

Not only will a script and well thought-out timeline help you, but more than likely school administration will want to receive and review the script prior to the pep rally. Be sure to get a draft to administration as early as possible in case they see issues with an activity. Here is a rough idea of what you might want to include.

  • Welcome/Student Entrance 
    • Play upbeat music or perform a dance while students are getting to their seats to set the excitement. Your fight song dance might be a great option here!
  • School spirit activity
    • Crowd cheer, spirit contest between grades, etc.
  • Recognition
    • Recognize seasonal teams, champions, a school spirit award winner, etc.
    • Don't play favorites! For example, if it's fall, don't just recognize your football team, make sure you mention all fall sports. Or go a step further and mention school club programs as well!
    • I do not recommend announcing each individual player by name. Instead, announce each sport and have a few stats ready to say about each of them.
  • Fun activity/game
    • This is usually the highlight of the pep rally! I will try to do a post soon that includes some great ideas to keep things fun!
  • Second activity/time-filler 
    • Sometimes you get ahead of schedule and your pep rally ends a little early. It's always a good idea to have an activity in your back pocket that you can pull out if you need to fill extra time.
  • Closing
    • It's good to add something meaningful during this time or start a new tradition.
    • Have all classes come together on the gym floor to sing the alma mater, do a traditional chant together, or whatever else might make sense for your school and your traditions. 
An important thing to remember is to keep things moving! Don't allow much downtime or you will lose your audience quickly. As soon as one thing finishes, roll right into the next activity!

Pick a good emcee!

Having a good emcee to announce your pep rally is a MUST! The emcee will set the tone for the entire event! Whether you find a school administrator, teacher, coach, or trusted upperclassman, make sure you have someone that isn't afraid to have fun and get others excited!

Recruiting teachers.

If you are going to ask for teacher volunteers, I have a couple of suggestions to help participation.

  • Individually reach out to some teachers first. You know, the ones that are always up for some fun!
  • Then send the request out to other teachers.
  • Have the teachers that already committed to help you recruit other teachers.
  • Be VERY CLEAR about what you want them to do. You will have a better participation rate if the teachers know exactly what will be happening. Some teachers do not like surprises and it will minimize your participation numbers if you have them do something unexpected. Only try the unexpected with the few teachers or coaches that you know are up for anything!

Music, Baby!

  • Utilize your band! Coordinate your efforts with the band, they can even make fun sound effects for you when you need them!
  • If your school does not have a band or they're not up for a partnership use the sound system! Talk with A/V staff to determine if it's best to use your laptop or phone and get that (school appropriate) playlist ready!
Get prepared!
  • Finish preparations for the pep rally by finishing any banners, signs, or props that you will use.
  • Practice, practice, practice! This is your chance to shine as a unit in front of the whole school!
  • IMPORTANT: Use a practice to run through everything, step by step. Don't just say, "next we will announce the football team". Instead, discuss where the team will be staged, if they are going to run through a banner, who will be staging them, what the cheerleaders will be doing, where the cheerleaders will be standing, what the band will be playing or what music will be on, who will guide the football players and what will be said. Go into detail and think of every possible situation. 
    • All of that being said, warn your cheerleaders to look towards you (or whomever you appoint) for guidance if something doesn't go exactly as planned. Remind them not to make faces or act disappointed, just roll with it and keep the energy high!

Showcase your skills, but beware!

  • Add some of your cheer skills or a new dance into the schedule.
  • IMPORTANT: Don't make the pep rally about you. Make it about the whole school and keep it entertaining for all. As much as I would love watching the cheerleaders and their skills the whole time, that's not everyone's cup of tea and it's not adding to overall school spirit.
Pep rallies are so much fun! I hope this list has you prepared and excited for your next event. If you have more ideas, please share them!

Keep shinin' and keep smilin', Sisters!

Plan the perfect pep rally pin
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