It starts on Saturday morning before Thanksgiving, typically a chilly day, and you can hear it before you see it. First the cheers, then the chants, then the songs. And then they sprint, loudly, more than 185 girls, half in red and brown, half in green and white, past Carter House, across the lawn, headed for the rectangle of asphalt in the middle of campus, parents and siblings straggling behind with mugs of coffee and hot chocolate. The Brownie- Spider basketball game is about to begin.
The Brownie-Spider game is the high-octane capstone of St. Timothy’s oldest and most spirited tradition: Brownie- Spider. When you come to St. Timothy’s, you will become one, or the other, for life. There is a mystique to the assignment of Brownie-Spider designations, unless you have a sister or mom or other relative who went here, in which case you’ll be what they were. (Family ties matter!) And throughout the year you’ll display your Brownie (or Spider) pride, wear your brown (or green) kilt on Fridays, learn the team chants, and rouse your teachers on game day with a pre-dawn serenade. “May the best team win,” says the mom in the green wool coat to the mom dressed head-to-toe in red, both standing next to the dad with a green spider web drawn on his face, near the girl in red with buffalo horns, who’s holding a dog wearing a red sweater.
Just before jump-ball, the Brownie and Spider captains race across the court and one leaps into the other’s arms, and they just hang there a while as the cheers of classmates and families grow around them. Their mid-court hug signals the friendliness of the rivalry and underscores the tight bonds that bring people together here. The community fabric is close-knit at St. Timothy’s and traditions have an important role to play in holding that fabric together. Brownie-Spider is a big one, but it’s one of many. Others include:
- Old Girl/New Girl
- Ringing the Victory Bell
- Head's Chapel
- Class Night
- Walking through the Moongate
- Fabulous Fours Day
- Fives High Tea
- Threes' rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas
- Annual Boat Regatta