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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

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Prom Should Be on a Boat In the Future…With Some Changes

Odyssey+Boat%2C+courtesy+of+Navy+Pier+Website.
Odyssey Boat, courtesy of Navy Pier Website.

Back in October, the Junior Student Council, alongside parents and various adults at the school, started organizing LFHS’ 2024 Prom. This year’s event would differ from the previous year’s venue at the Hyatt in Rosemont. Rather than assigned seats at dinner, one large dance floor, and one red carpet located outside the front door of the high school, a unique twist was introduced: prom would be hosted on a yacht at Navy Pier.

When word spread that prom was going to be on a three-deck boat with a rooftop lounge cruising around Lake Michigan, there was a mix of excitement and skepticism. 

On Saturday, LFHS set out with over 650 students aboard the yacht. Despite the initial uncertainty surrounding the concept of prom being on a boat, the experience was truly memorable and enjoyable for most.  

Hosting prom on a boat proved to be a great idea and should be strongly considered for prom in the future, if possible.

Organizing prom on a boat offered several benefits that are worth highlighting. We enjoyed the convenience of a less than five minute walk from the bus drop-off point to where the boat was docked—an aspect that addressed a concern many students expressed.

The yacht itself also made for a clean and elegant venue. Across the three separate decks, an array of music was played by a live DJ and there were continuous replenishments of food and drinks, which ensured that hunger or thirst was never a concern for attendees. 

While this may be stating the obvious, one of the most striking advantages of prom on a yacht was the breathtaking rooftop view. The sight of the sunset and the Chicago skyline created an unparalleled backdrop for pictures and the night’s festivities.

Courtesy of Lyla Carney

Transitioning from the previous and more traditional hotel venue to a yacht presented some challenges, but that doesn’t prevent us from believing that prom should be on a boat in upcoming years. Prom located on a boat will be enjoyable in future years, but some adjustments are necessary in order to optimize the experience.

Although there were tables and chairs present on all levels, we frequently encountered difficulties with finding seating throughout the night. The limited space on the boat is understandable, but we think adjusting the number of seats is essential for future events so more people are able to sit.

For example, strictly keep food and seating on one level and have the dance floor kept on another so there is more space to take advantage of. 

Arriving on one of the last buses meant that other students had already been on the boat for nearly 30 minutes before getting close to departure. After filling up your plate of food, many students experienced walking around for some time before finding a table that had vacant chairs. 

It felt quite chaotic and claustrophobic, especially when taking a seat where the tables are crammed next to each other. The levels got especially muggy when the dancing began.

In addition to the seating concern, we suggest additional seating on the rooftop, if possible. As the evening progressed and the sun began to set, more and more people gravitated toward the upper deck to look at the skyline. While there were chairs on the top level, we heard numerous complaints throughout the night from people wishing they had a place to sit on the rooftop so they could still be outside.

We would recommend couch like chairs meant for multiple people rather than singles, so more space can be occupied at a time. While the upper deck was beautiful, it was painfully crowded and uncomfortable. 

One of the most prevalent complaints pertained to the duration of the cruise. For many people, cruising on the lake for a full two hours was excessive. 

While there was always a place to be, when considering the amount of time from boarding to departure, the two hour cruising period, and the docking process, the overall time frame extended beyond what many students anticipated.

Students boarding the buses to return to LFHS. Courtesy of Lyla Carney.

The most noteworthy challenge of the night was boarding the buses and making our way back to school.

Beginning around 10 p.m., students started exiting the boat and returning to the bus pick-up area, which was a mess. Standing on the sidewalk, we were asked to wait while pedestrians were let by as staff was aggressive and noticeably stressed.

Before walking to the pick-up area, we waited for approximately twenty minutes.  If you were to ask anyone who attended prom, they would agree that boarding the buses and getting on route to the school was an absolute nightmare. Students were tired, in pain, and sweating buckets. 

As one might expect, the scene of people standing shoulder to shoulder, overheating, and attempting to listen to the bus numbers being called was brutal.

By 11 p.m., many students were so eager to board an air conditioned bus and sit down with a bottle of water in their hands regardless as to how people felt when there was constant braking and acceleration on the long ride home.

If prom was hosted on a boat again, we suggest trying to figure out a way to smoothen the transition onto buses. Staggering the departure of students from the boat and disembarking in smaller groups could prevent the chaos that came with everyone cluttering in one large crowd.

Courtesy of Alana Tennett.

Prom on a boat was surely a night to remember and the special setting of a boat contributed to the remarkable event. It is important to give recognition to all of the adults who spent hours helping plan this night, which ended up being a huge success, in our opinion. 

Moving forward, hosting prom on the Odyssey yacht could be an excellent idea that can be executed even better than it was this year, especially with some improvements to combat some of the key concerns raised throughout the night. As most events end, there are both advantages and disadvantages, but the student class can vouch for prom being a great success this year.

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About the Contributors
Lyla Carney
Lyla Carney, Staff Writer
Lyla Carney is a junior at Lake Forest High School and is thrilled to be a first-year writer for The Forest Scout! Lyla is a devoted member of the Varsity Dance Team, and is involved in Student Council, Scout Buddies, and Student to Student. Outside of school, you can most likely find her blasting Taylor Swift in her car, hanging out with family and friends, or walking her dog, Chippy, by the beach!
Alana Tennett
Alana Tennett, Staff Writer
Alana Tennett is a senior at Lake Forest High School and a first-year staff writer for the Forest Scout. Alana is co-captain of the varsity dance team that she has been a part of since her sophomore year. Although dance takes up all of her time, she can't wait to write various pieces about things that interest her. Alana can't wait for summer where she can enjoy sunny boat rides while wake surfing and swimming with her friends and family in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. Alana is excited for what lies ahead, but wants to cherish every moment while she can before she heads off to college.  
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