Most cheerleading squads bear the responsibility for running pep rally activities during the event. Pep rallies are often organized around a big school-wide event such as homecoming, a championship game or honoring graduating senior athletes. Well planned activities can make a pep rally one that students will remember for years to come.
Ideas for Pep Rally Activities
Any of these ideas can help you get started planning your rally. Once you have a basic plan in mind, use your creativity to come up with the details.
Go ahead and wow the crowd with your best routine. While the crowd will likely enjoy watching their favorite squad strut their stuff, the benefits are really for you. A pep rally is a perfect place to practice and perfect your moves as a squad. You'd much rather work out all the kinks in front of your school than in front of judges at a competition. The crowd will just enjoy being privy to your best stunts and tumbling.
A pep rally is the perfect time to introduce the homecoming or prom courts. Many schools also have winter dances or spring dances that involve electing a "snow court" or "flower court." Whatever your school does, introducing the court at a pep rally lets everyone see who was nominated.
Honoring Non-Athletic Faculty or Staff
Consider taking some time during your pep rally to honor that one teacher who makes learning come to life, or that one secretary who's always quick with a smile and a helpful answer. Honoring popular faculty or staff with some type of student award is a great way to bond around a common theme. Awards could include: "Most Helpful," "Most Humorous," or a "Student's Choice Award." Let those special faculty members know how much you appreciate them!
It is customary to do something for the coaches that were involved in the season. A traditional gift would include a plaque or trophy. However, some schools have active booster clubs that offer gift certificates or other gifts of appreciation.
Honoring senior athletes at the end of the season is standard during a pep rally. This is the opportunity for the school to recognize athletes that have given back to their school and community. Note high school career highlights, but also make sure to note extra curricular achievements. If the rally is in the spring, you can also note where the players are going to college if applicable.
Honoring Academic Excellence
Don't forget to honor other leaders in your school. If your school has more than a couple of pep rallies a year, honor those students who were actively involved in school, excelled in academics or had otherwise notable qualities. (You'll often find that many of these students are also athletes.)
Contests and games can help promote fan involvement, especially if you pick volunteers from the crowd to participate. Participants can compete as boys versus girls, seniors versus juniors, or even football players versus cheerleaders. The point is to choose contestants who tend to be crowd pleasers and who don't mind acting a little crazy. Activities like the following Candy Slogan Game are fun for the participants and exciting for spectators as well.
Candy Slogan Game:
- Pick two to four teams of four participants each to compete in this game.
- Give each team a large bowl of unwrapped Smarties or another dry candy. Instruct each team to spell out a predetermined slogan. You could choose something that mentions the team you're competing against in the big game like "Beat the Bobcats" or "Whip the Warriors."
- Dump the candy out on the floor, and the participants can only move the candy around with their noses.
- The first team to correctly spell out the slogan wins the game.
Outfit the football captains in cheerleading outfits and the cheerleaders in football uniforms. The cheerleaders should start the pep rally by running out through a paper sign, carrying footballs and wearing helmets, while the football players run out with pom pons and megaphones. The guys can lead an entertaining dance and cheer while the cheerleaders act rough and macho. If you choose the right players to get involved, the student body will be rolling with laughter.
Planning the Perfect Rally
The key to a great pep rally is being creative. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. You also need to keep the activities appropriate, make sure they fit the time allotted for the rally, and plan everything out in advance so the rally will go off without a hitch. If you can do that, everyone is sure to have a fantastic time!