For cheerleaders, our teammates are our family. We go through so many highs and lows together, and this makes it tough when we inevitably have to say goodbye. Of course, we can always stay in touch and be friends forever, but that’s not the same as seeing each other at practice every day! There really is no way to make losing senior team members easy, but you can do things to commemorate them and let them know how much they mean to you. Here are four ways to say goodbye to seniors:

1.     Plan a special event or activity. Make one last big team memory by doing a favorite activity together, like having a team sleepover or taking a day trip to a local attraction. Spend some quality time together as you process this major transition. 

2.     Throw a party. Your squad might already have an end-of-the-year banquet, but you could still have a low-key get together with your teammates to celebrate your seniors. This could be as simple as a pizza party or movie night where you all take the time to go around and share your favorite memories and what you appreciate most about your senior teammates. Give the seniors a chance to talk as well and share their favorite memories and any words of wisdom they have for the new team leaders and younger team members.

3.     Make a memory box. Fill a box (or a cute cheer bag!) with items that will trigger fun cheer memories. Write your own notes on them to tell your seniors what stands out in your memory from the special times. You can use a bow your team wore at a significant game or competition, a cheer t-shirt from a camp you attended as kids, a bottle of the hair spray they always used before cheer events, or a pass from a competition.

4.     Give a special gift. Make them something they can take with them to college or wherever their plans take them that will remind them of your team. Having a meaningful gift like a collage they can put on their wall or a scrapbook they can flip through with pictures from their time with you on the squad will help them make the difficult transition out of high school and let them know that they will always be important to you, even when you aren’t on the same team anymore.

How is your squad saying goodbye to your seniors?