After a rain delay, Saturday, October 10th was the first Backwoods event of the 2015-16 school year. It took place in Van Neste Park from 8:00-11:00 PM. This dance’s throwback theme gave Ridgewood High School students several choices: dress possibilities for “ThrowBack-woods” included the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Unlike a lot of previous themes, such as Tie-Dye or Pink Out, which brought out a uniform scheme, there was a lot of variation in dress based on each student’s own ideas.
One Backwoods Committee member, who plans and orchestrates the dances, was very optimistic about all of the events in the coming school year, especially the dance. She stated that this year they “tried to find a theme that everyone would like and was pretty classic, but that people could also have fun with and have some freedom. [They were] excited to see how everything turned out. It was a lot of fun.” Backwoods was an exceptional dance with nearly a thousand attendees. Though 11 students (.011% of the total group) were caught drinking, which is higher than last year’s record low, the Backwoods Committee pledges to its mission statement and helps Ridgewood High School students have good experiences without illegal substances. “The idea is to hold fun events that people will like, all in a safe and controlled environment,” says the Backwoods Committee. “So far it seems like it has been working.” Despite the recent spike in drinking incidents, Backwoods has seen a steady decrease in underage drinking over the past few years and continues to be a safe place for all four grades of Ridgewood High School students to have fun.
In addition to the biennial dances, Backwoods also hosts many events during the school year such as open-mic nights, movies in the park, and a talent show, but the dances seem to be the favorite. Students look forward to the dance as it is all-inclusive and allows all four grades to be together and has really found its place in RHS culture. The Committee hopes to see a similar place in Ridgewood High School’s heart made for their upcoming event: an Open Mic Night at East Coast Burger this November. Students can enjoy burgers and shakes while listening to their classmates and even show off their own talents.