Boulder at high school to recognize, defend school spirit

Youth Development Committee helps place ‘Spirit Rock’ on campus

Farmington High School students were the driving force behind the installation of the new “Spirit Rock” in the parking lot area. (Photo submitted)
Farmington High School students were the driving force behind the installation of the new “Spirit Rock” in the parking lot area. (Photo submitted)

There’s no shortage of pride at Farmington High School, and now it has a big boulder to prove it.

When students arrive on their first day of school Sept. 3, it will be hard not to notice what the school has dubbed “Spirit Rock,” which was placed near the east entrance on the edge of the parking lot.

The Youth Development Committee spearheaded the effort to purchase the 5-ton boulder. The idea is students can decorate the boulder to show their school pride whether it be “Class of 2014 rocks,”  “Welcome back,” or “Good Luck at State.”

“It’s a way for us to build a community and support each other in the events that happen throughout the year,” adviser Marianne Feely said. “The (Youth Development Committee) kids will make sure it’s stays positive.”

I could also be used to advertise for events such as an upcoming blood drive or school play.

The idea of a large painted boulder is a familiar one in the south metro.

Neighboring high schools such as Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Prior Lake have spirit rocks, and students at Farmington took notice.

“Farmington continues to grow and we want to keep up with our competitors,” said Natalie Pellin, and incoming junior. “I know both the Lakevilles said it was a healthy competition.”

Much has changed in the past five years for Farmington High School students. They have a relatively new home off Flagstaff Avenue, and next school year they’ll be joining the South Suburban Conference, meaning they’ll be competing against bigger high schools such as the ones in Lakeville and Prior Lake.

Youth Development Committee members talked with neighboring school district officials regarding their big rocks and the role it served for the student body.

Last winter, they decided they wanted their own, a large boulder with an appropriate canvas, in time for the 2013-14 school year.

The committee worked with Hedberg Masonry and Landscape in Farmington and Boulder Express delivery service.

They were given a loan by the school and raised funds through a number of service-oriented activities. The group sold treats during the open house this week and have talked about selling concessions during football games in the spring.

The process of installing the rock was the easy part. Deciding on a design and painting the rock in time for school has taken longer that they thought.

“We’re still in the process of our design for the first day of school,” Pellin said. “We have some really good designs.”

Since the rock was installed earlier this month, there have been incidents of unsolicited painting.

The students felt the culprits were from neighboring cities and not schools in the current makeup of the Missota Conference, which was a bit confusing.

The fact that Farmington’s rock is new and it’s still summer leads the students to believe that once school starts, potential vandals will lose interest.

Other Farmington school organizations can get approval to paint the rock by filling out a form with the Youth Development Committee. If approved, the painting should stay up for at least a week.

Security cameras are focused on the rock and will be more actively monitored during the school year.

The Youth Development Committee is coordinated through Farmington Community Education. The group also volunteers in the community, organizes homecoming activities, and organizes Games for Change, a fundraiser to benefit the 360 Communities Farmington Food Shelf.