Leaves falling, traditions calling

Pumpkin patches, fall treats and jack-o-lanterns fill fall for Chieftains

Senior Shaylynn Campbell poses with a sunflower at Valas Pumpkin Patch. Campbell enjoys the apple orchard the most. I love getting to go somewhere with my family to celebrate the fall, Campbell said.

Courtesy Photo

Senior Shaylynn Campbell poses with a sunflower at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. Campbell enjoys the apple orchard the most. “I love getting to go somewhere with my family to celebrate the fall,” Campbell said.

As the leaves begin to turn and the weather brings a chilly breeze, fall traditions come alive for the students and teachers at Yutan High School.

Senior Shaylynn Campbell’s fall tradition is spending time at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, and she has been doing so for as long as she can remember.

“There’s so many pictures of me as a little baby holding a little pumpkin in my hand all dressed up for Halloween at the pumpkin patch,” Campbell said. “One year I was dressed up as a pumpkin and I was holding a baby pumpkin.”

Campbell’s favorite part of the pumpkin patch is the food, which she described as “literally the best food ever.” Even though all the food is delicious, one treat from the pumpkin patch sticks out to her the most.

 “If you’re in the apple area, they can cut up a caramel apple for you and then drizzle some caramel on it and pick out toppings,” Campbell said. “It is what I get every time we go.”

Fellow senior Laycee Josoff also enjoys the treats that come with the fall season, though hers are made at home.

“My mom makes a lot of pumpkin bread and banana bread to have a fall treat,” Josoff said. “It was from my grandma’s cookbook actually and she passed it down to my mom.”

Josoff loves that the treats perfectly bring the feeling of fall into her home.

Social studies teacher Dan Krajicek carves pumpkins with his kids Zach, Drew and Heidi in 2010. Even though the Krajiceks are busy with activities, they still carve pumpkins every October. (Courtesty Photo)

“When my mom makes the pumpkin bread, it puts me in the mood for fall and it just brings the coziness and warmth all together in our house,” Josoff said.

Along with enjoying specific foods, carving pumpkins with friends or family is a tradition that many enjoy taking part in. Juniors Andi Nelson and Reagan Wilson randomly decided one night this fall to run to the grocery store and buy a pumpkin to carve for the Halloween season. 

“We thought it would be fun to design the pumpkin however we wanted, especially since we both love the fall season,” Nelson said. 

Both girls were satisfied with the end result of their carved pumpkin.

“We just did a traditional jack-o-lantern with the triangle eyes and a crazy mouth,” Wilson said. “I loved it.”

Although the pumpkin-carving process takes a bit of work, history teacher Dan Krajicek, whose family also takes part in this tradition, believes that it is all worth it in the end.

“Just seeing the kids get all excited when I would light them up for the first time is the best,” Krajicek said. “Actually doing it sometimes there’s a lot of work, but just seeing the reactions from them makes it a lot of fun.”