The Rocket Flame

Eliminating Fear With Steps of Hope


In a small community, a large number of people are impacted by cancer. Whether it is themselves who are affected or the people around them, many lives are changed by the disease. To support the many people in our small town who have been challenged by the trials of cancer, the community gathered at the Mercersburg Academy on Feb. 17, 2019, from 1-7 P.M. to participate in the Relay for Life.


The Relay for Life is a fundraiser done in communities to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event should last

To start off Relay for Life, survivors and current fighters of cancer walked the first lap.

from 6-24 hours, and everyone is asked to walk laps around the track the whole time, signifying how cancer never sleeps.


Many people relay for personal reasons. The event allows them to have a time where they can share their experiences with people who have similar experiences.


“I relay for my grandma who is currently battling ovarian cancer and is hopefully in remission; my mom who had cervical cancer, and my brother’s dad who died from leukemia,” said Shaelyn Kaiser (12).


For other students, instead of walking, they preferred a behind the scenes approach with setting up relay.


“Our motivation was that most of our friends and family members were affected by cancer,” said Alexis Keith (12). “We just thought it was a good idea to raise money for them.”


Throughout Relay, there were many events that took place. Many of them were light-hearted, such as Zumba, Minute-

At Relay for Life, there were many activities throughout the event. During one lap, Seniors Shaelyn Kaiser, Olivia Harmon, Lindsay Ambrisco, Cass Martin, and Maggie Strawoet did Zumba.

to-Win-It, sending people to jail, and rounds were people born in each decade would take a lap. While there were fun events, there were also serious ones that led the focus to the real reason everyone was there: eliminating cancer.


The event opened with Mr. Doug Hoffman telling the crowd about his past experience with cancer, and his current experience. As the event continued, many people bought luminaries for their loved ones who have suffered or fallen to cancer. In the middle of the event, the Luminaria Ceremony began.


As the crowd stood in the dark, the speaker read a poem about cancer being like a birthday cake with twelve candles, each one representing a month that was spent without their loved one. As each month was read, a luminaria was lit. At the end of the speech, everyone was encouraged to go light their loved ones luminaria. After the room was lit up by the array of luminaries, the attendees took silent laps around the track in honor of all of the people afflicted by the deadly disease.


Relay inspired hope, but one of its purposes was to raise money to donate to cancer research. James Buchanan High School decided to raise money through a Mr. Relay Pageant, where the school’s boys went through comical pageant events.


“The pageant was our way to raise the money. We ended [up] raising a lot more than we expected to,” said Keith.


At the end of the Relay week, the pageant raised approximately $800 and the actual Relay for Life over $28,000, with donations still coming in, that was given to the American Cancer Society.


With many people being diagnosed and affected by cancer every day, our community took Relay for Life by the reigns and raised money to abolish the disease for once and for all.

Wanna Stay Warm? Do it in Style

Hats, mittens, and scarves, oh my! There are tons of ways to keep warm this winter, but make sure you are keeping up with this season trends! There are many options to choose from, but depending on your personal look, you may lean towards a different style.



 From tartan to color block, scarves, no matter the pattern, are always a necessary piece in anyone’s winter wardrobe. Whether wearing one while you’re tubing at Whitetail or when you’re having a nice night out, a scarf can take an outfit from a not too hot.


To keep warm this winter, Kali Rotharmel (12) swears by wearing scarves to not only stay cozy but to dazzle up any outfit.

“Scarves are a nice way to accent a piece of clothing while keeping your neck warm, and staying stylish while comfortable,” said Kali Rotharmel (12).


According to India Yaffe in her article, some popular styles of scarves this winter would be blanket scarves, which are oversized and mainly come in a flannel print. Infinity scarves, a popular favorite, are still in style but are quickly being replaced by ones that drape across your shoulders and chest. On the other hand, coming quickly back into style are neck scarves, similar to ascots, but they tend to be more complicated to rock. If you are up for the challenge, although, go ahead and try it out!


Want a way to cover up your messy hair but keep your ears warm? Make sure to try out a hat! While hats are seen all year round, there are certain types that stick out during the winter.

“I think beanies are always popular during the winter, but I’ve also noticed berets have been more popular this year,” said Rachel Rotz (12).

The perfect accessory that accomplishes many goals: the hat. Not only does it keep your head warm, but it completes your whole outfit and covers up a bad hair day. Just ask Rachel Rotz (12), she swears by them!

Serving the purpose of keeping you warm, hats are very useful, but they also extend to being an accessory that pulls a look together, similar to a scarf.

“You could really wear it with anything, but I think they look best with a sweater and some jeans in the winter time,” said Rotz, “They’re casual but still pull a look together.”

While there are many high fashion hat trends this season, there are also some casual hats that you can see in this winter’s street fashion. Writer Camielle Lawson-Livingstone said on, in addition to the runway style, knit beanies, berets, newsboy caps, and even wide-brimmed fedoras are starting to make a reappearance. Some of these styles might be out of your comfort zone, but give one a try to make your outfit look like it just came out of New York Fashion Week!


Everyone knows a coat is to keep you warm, but that doesn’t have to be all it does! Don’t have a boring average coat. Instead, lean towards a coat that not only keeps you warm but makes people stop and ask where you got it!

“My favorite coat is a black bomber jacket,” said Jacob Troupe (11). “It’s in style right now, but not many people at JB wear them.”

A unique jacket may seem like it won’t go with anything, but it might complete your wardrobe.  It can change a look

You shouldn’t leave the house without a coat, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Jacob Troupe (11) wears a fashion-forward bomber jacket to stay warm in the chilly weather.

from drab to fab!

“I like the classic look and feel that the jacket gives, and it goes well with a wide variety of clothes,” said Troupe.

As you can see on this article on by Amy de Klerk, the main trend this season is trench coats! Not just any plain trench coat, though. Instead, strong and bold patterns and fabrics are making this classic jacket stand out. On top of the trench, a new kind of coat is making its way into every store: the teddy. The teddy is a fuzzy jacket, usually camel colored, that many stores are aiming towards the younger generation.


The winter months are always fluctuating up and down in weather. It could be raining one day, it could be sunny and warm the next, and then the day after there are 8 inches of snow on the ground. With the weather constantly changing, it is easy to take a summer shoe and turn it into a winter shoe, or vice versa.

Incorporating shoes from other seasons, Mallory Peck (11) said, “I really like wearing my black converse, and also my Christmas cabin socks with Birkenstocks.”

No matter what the weather calls for, it is easy to figure out a shoe to wear.

Socks and sandals are making a comeback, and they are keeping everyone’s feet warm and comfortable. Mallory Peck (11) can’t go a day without camp socks and a pair of Birkenstocks on her feet!

“My black converse is a shoe you can wear in any weather. Socks with Birkenstocks is definitely a shoe to wear when it’s chilly out, and not raining or snowing,” said Peck.

Popping into style this season, writer Hannah Almassi depicts on how booties with cowboy boot accents, thick-soled sneakers, and loafers are on the scene. While those are the shoe styles, there are also elements of the shoe design that is new, such as animal print, leather brown, and square-toed silhouettes.

Whether dressing high-fashion or in trend with your age group, there are tons of trends to keep up with this winter. No matter what season, styles are changing and progressively coming in and out of style.

Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition


To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

A chilly autumn breeze blows an ombre of orange, red, and yellow leaves across the grass. Anywhere you go, you are bound to smell a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin. Porches are decorated with scarecrows, leaves, and pumpkins just waiting to be decorating. Following along with the seasons holidays and traditions, James Buchanan’s Art Club gathered up pumpkins to decorate for fall.


Club members got together to decorate pumpkins after school on Thursday, Oct. 25. Some members did a classic jack o’lantern face, while some others branched out to do anything from a monogram of their initials to a peacock with feathers.

For a while, the Art Club has not done any parties that have to do with making art; the events have usually been

While Maggie Strawoet (12) shares a laugh with members of her table, Lizzie Pittman (12) centers her attention on painting her monogram on her pumpkin.

centered around food and activities, such as Secret Santa or tea parties. This year, however, the club is trying to change that.


“Normally, our regular Halloween parties are just a breakfast during Activity Period,” said Vice President Maggie Strawoet (12), “so we wanted to do something more elaborate and artsy since this year we are really trying to change up Art Club and do more art instead of just parties.”

The Art Club advisor, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), really wants the members’ creations to do more for the school. Whether it is made with a group or individually, Chambers-Matulevich thinks that art should be able to hang around the school and make a lasting impact. To do this, the club needs to step out of its old habits of throwing parties centered around socializing.


“Art club should make art. We should be making art, not wasting time. It’s not a socialization club, it’s an art club,” said Chambers-Matulevich.


While getting more art out into the school is a main goal of the club, they also hope to raise community awareness of the art being created inside room 305.

As Olivia Harmon (12) paints a haunted house against a nights sky on her pumpkin, she shares a laugh with Amber Clark (12) who paints a scary face on her pumpkin.

“We want to host paint nights for everyone to come, not just for the school, but [for] the community,” said President Lizzie Pittman (12). “Also, we want to do something at the Mercersburg tree lighting ceremony to get the little kids involved.”


Taking their first step towards this new goal for themselves, the members have taken to decorating pumpkins. Whether they painted something scary or sweet, or if they used different 3D elements to enhance their designs, the members put their own spin on their pumpkins.


“I made a peacock pumpkin,” said Trinity Myers (12). “I thought it would be really fun to use blues and greens. I actually put feathers in the back to make a tail, because peacocks have big tails. Then,…I made a beak out of orange



With a new aspiration and a motivation to get there, James Buchanan’s Art Club is working towards becoming more involved with supplying art to the school and community.

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