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Thunder Cup: Spirited Competition Connects Upper School Students

ODA’s Thunder Cup is a fun-filled, yearlong tournament between the four grades in the Upper School. Now considered one of the school’s most exciting traditions, the concept for the class competition was created in 2006 by Mr. Tim Brewer, ODA’s Upper School Director of Student Activities, in an effort to increase school spirit, help connect students to the school and bond with classmates, and inject an element of fun into the school day.
During the planning phase of the Thunder Cup, Mr. Brewer researched scores of games that all students could participate in, while keeping in mind that fun was the overall goal. With an enormous variety of games and activities incorporated into the months-long competition, Thunder Cup offers a wide assortment of events to appeal to the entire student body. Competitions take place at Upper School assembly or during lunch and range from Connect Four, cornhole, and musical dots, to holiday gingerbread decorating, trivia contests, the Gold Brick Challenge, and the hugely popular lip sync competition.

“I have always been fond of the saying, "Work hard, play hard," said Mr. Brewer. “Our students work hard in the classroom. They deserve an opportunity to be kids and just have fun. I hope that Thunder Cup adds school spirit and fun to their school experience.” 

Throughout the year, Mr. Brewer posts the current scores for the classes to keep track of the competition standings. In April, after the final events are tallied, the winners are announced and awarded the Thunder Cup trophy. Winners receive bragging rights and a victory celebration, as well as their class year engraved on the trophy. Over the years, only one class has won the prized cup three years in a row, and the most recent class to repeat back-to-back wins was last year’s Class of 2021. 

With bragging rights on the line, the race for the cup is always fierce. After the first two games in the 2021-2022 competition were played this week, the seniors currently hold the lead after a strong 1-2-4 showing in musical dots (Click to watch a video.) Although it’s early in the season, will they be the class to beat? Thunder Cup updates will be posted on ODA’s social media throughout the year, be sure to keep an eye out for the latest standings!

Click for a photo album of Thunder Cup events through the years.

The Out-of-Door Academy

LOWER SCHOOL |  Historic Siesta Key Campus  |  Pre-K – Grade 5
444 Reid Street, Sarasota, FL 34242  |  941-349-3223  |  Fax: 941-349-8133

  |  Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch  |  Grades 6 – 8 |  Grades 9 – 12
5950 Deer Drive, Sarasota, FL 34240  |  941-349-3223  |  Fax: 941-907-1251
The Out-of-Door Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, physical ability, religion, sex, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
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