October 11 marked this years much much-anticipated annual tradition among Upper Schoolers at the Albany Academy for Girls: Bacon Bat. From excited freshmen experiencing this beloved tradition for the first time, writing their first set of songs and competing in their first tug of war competition, to veteran seniors decorating the hall to match their unique theme, creating their last set of cheers and playing their last dodgeball game, Bacon Bat is one of the most thrilling and well-remembered days of the school year.
But how exactly did this tradition come to be? According to Margaret King, AAG alumni Class of ‘65, and Academy archivist, Bacon Bat was first started in 1911 with the intention of “building school spirit and esprit de corps among the upper school students.” The first-ever Bacon Bat was a full day competition held off campus. It involved games, laughter and even a cookout where bacon was made, which inspired the now-famous name of Bacon Bat.
King believes the song competition to best represent the tone of Bacon Bat. If done right, these songs can be carried through the years, generations of songs written by students to best represent what it means to be an academy girl. Mrs. Hollander, Class of ‘88, says some of her favorite memories stem from the traditional activities involving sports and the song competition. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the classes to work together for one goal” she says, recalling her Bacon Bat where, unlike modern Bacon Bat, the costumes were handmade.
Not only is Bacon Bat a day of fun and no classes, but it also serves as a bonding experience between the sister classes. “It is something that the whole class has to work towards,” says Bridget Neiles-Auger, president of Archive Club. She believes it sets the tone for the high school community as a freshman and further solidifies the love and support between the grades, sister classes, and students. “It drives student motivation, spirit, and sense of community,” says Ms. Chrisfulli, Class of ‘11, with a smile on her face as she recalls fond memories like having Mr. Service’s kids as the Jackpot Junior’s mascots in 2015 and the volleyball competition.
Every alumni interviewed recalled sentimental memories and stories with grins on their faces, talking of the palpable sense of comradery and togetherness, further going to show that Bacon Bat helps form memories that will last a lifetime. For over a century Bacon Bat has brought joy, laughter, and friendly competition to the halls of Albany Academy for Girls and to this day it serves as one of our most important traditions, deserving recognition for all that is represents about the atmosphere of the school we all know and love.