Marconi Comes Back with a Splash!

Marconi Comes Back with a Splash!

Abigail Lott, Staff Writer

The water rose from the sea and engulfed a sand replica of Falmouth Academy. The boys’ varsity field, made of smooth sand with charcoal outlined benches and seaweed for trees, washed away as the judges stood by. The ocean crept up to the main building, piles of sand sculpted to look like the exterior and the roof colored black from charcoal. Benches of small rocks lined the front yard and the boys’ varsity field. All of this effort was to be washed away by rising sea levels, as this would be the reality of Falmouth Academy in 100 years. A first-place prize was awarded to this sand sculpture at Marconi Beach Day 2021. 

Marconi Beach Day returned with great applause after a hiatus due to COVID-19. The beloved Falmouth Academy tradition that has been going on for more than thirty years came back on September 23,  resulting in creative sand sculptures along the beach and teams bonding throughout the day. 

The annual sandcastle competition may seem strange to a Falmouth Academy outsider. The tradition is so long-standing that a golden shovel with the names of the winning captains exists. The designs that won in the past have been as extravagant as Mount Olympus, a tribute to World War I, a gnome head, a Hobbit house, and a tiger. The design possibilities are endless. 

To kick off the Marconi activities, Tyler Harmon ’22 performed an original song at All School Meeting on September 22. He strummed away at the guitar and sang about how lucky we are that Head of School Mr. Matt Green let us have the day to make sandcastles at what he called “macaroni.” It was an appropriate start to the festivities. 

The weather at the beach was the best in years as the sun shined, and the wind didn’t blow too strongly. Students ran all over the beach, gathering precious charcoal and other found materials to make their sculptures beautiful. The sandcastles climbed mightily and two hours later were completed. 

As usual, seniors led the teams as captains while faculty were merely observers and workers. 

“I enjoyed it. I got to connect with lots of people who I would not be able to due to COVID. I think it was a good time to build leadership skills and a great creative outlet,” said Soren Peterson ’22 on being a captain for his team. 

Sarah Thieler ’22 echoed Soren’s thoughts of enjoying being team captain, “I loved it. It was a lot of fun to interact with younger students again and take on the role I looked up to when I was their age.” 

This year, all the middle schoolers had their first Marconi experience since it got canceled last year.  

“For me, it was a dive into FA tradition. It showed me after this past year where we put aside tradition that we can jump back into them easily,” said Taleena Gonneea ’26 after her Marconi experience.

Elise Casso ’26 also found the experience excellent, “I was nervous at first that something would go wrong because we didn’t do enough planning. It turned out really well and I had a fun time at Marconi Beach.”

The winners were announced to the school by the three judges: Mr. George Scharr, Mrs. Gundi Eder, and Ms. Marney Rathbun ’12. The ceremony was exciting as each of the judges presented one award and an slide presentation in the background. 

Third place went to the sculpture called Bee the Change; the captains were Sarah Thieler ’22 and Kailei Hoehlein ’22. The sculpture consisted of several bees and a hive made with sand and charcoal outlines. It also had the caption made by a bee sculpture and the change written in rocks.

Second place went to the sculpture Fight for Your Rights captained by Mia Galvam ’22 and Cody Feldott ’22. The face had a woman with seaweed hair on one half with a black man with a charcoal-colored face on the other half. 

There was a tie for first place with two incredibly creative sculptures. One of the winning teams built its sandcastle close to the shore to depict Falmouth Academy in 2121, where it will eventually go underwater due to the rising sea levels. The sculpture, captained by Edie Leaver ’22, Wren Ramsay ’22, and Alzamora Quan ’22, wowed the judges with its creative use of the rising water. 

The other first-place team, captained by Hannah Brazil ’22, Michael Zitomer ’22, and Sam Lower ’22, created the Very Hungry Caterpillar in remembrance of author Eric Carle’s death. The judges liked their use of found materials such as sticks for antennas, rocks to outline the segments of the caterpillar and a nose made of a crab molt. 

Each of the six winning senior captains signed their name on the golden shovel with Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling playing in the background. 

Mr. Scharr said at the prize-awarding that he had not seen a Falmouth Academy community so excited for Marconi ever. Marconi was a great success.