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Papermakers Prom Reflection and a Brief History of the Event


Toward the end of the school year, many high schools across America host a Prom event where students are invited to spend a night out dressed up with their friends or their partner in a formal setting.

Prom, short for “promenade”, is a tradition that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Balls would be held for college students to attend as a way to teach class, manners and etiquette to the graduating classes. Today, we associate Prom with being a high school event, however formal dances of similar features are still present for college students, typically those attending Ivy League schools. Traditionally, Prom is a dance meant for upperclassmen, and thus the dance is sometimes seen as a send-off; a celebration of reaching the home stretch of the school year and a recognition of preparation for whatever is next to come.

This year, Camas High School (CHS) held its Prom on Saturday, April 20, at the Leftbank Annex in Portland, OR, roughly 20 minutes out of Camas. 

Many different factors go into planning the event, all of which are put into the hands of the junior class at CHS. It often takes up to a year to get the entire event set up properly. Variables such as location, theme and budget all play a major role in the preparation. During their sophomore year, this year’s CHS juniors CHS visited multiple different venues in Oregon and Washington to find a viable location for the 2024 Prom. Ultimately, it was up to them to brainstorm and vote on a relevant theme and create decorations. 

“Our juniors make those decisions in conjunction with our leadership class; leadership class has all of our class officers and a couple of other class representatives,” Student Council Advisor Rebecca Farrester said. “It’s a little bit of a school-wide voice then, with the final decision being [up to] the juniors” 

Papermakers party at Prom 2024

In 2023, the CHS Prom hosted a “masquerade” themed dance, to which many students brought masks reminiscent of those seen in the 15th. Earlier this year, a few themes were discussed and voted upon. The two leading options were a Disney theme and an enchanted garden theme. The juniors ultimately landed on the Enchanted Garden theme, hoping to cultivate a more whimsical and fairytale-like atmosphere at the dance.

“I think the venue was really cool, [though] I think that some of the decorations were somewhat lacking,” CHS Junior Rowan Vance said. “Overall, I had a really great night.”

Decorations play a significant role in tying the whole event together, as they create a certain mood for students to engage in. Freshmen and sophomores work along with the Upperclassmen to decorate the venue and create decorations and usually begin setting everything up the day of the event, with a dedicated group effort. The enchanted garden theme allowed many students to plan their outfits accordingly, involving more pastel colors and the inclusion of many soft floral patterns. 

“I think the theme this year was really great,” CHS junior Addison Stewart said. “I love open-ended themes that don’t strictly limit creativity, as far as dressing up.”

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Elisabeth Williams
Elisabeth Williams, Staff Writer

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