Even though in-person learning doesn't start until October 26, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) DECA club members gathered on the lawn almost a week early with pumpkins and art supplies in hand.
The project is a national DECA tradition that leads to the 2020 DECA Pumpkin Contest, but the PWHS students, drawn to the club by an interest in pursuing business careers after high school, were just as happy to have an excuse to get together.
"There are two parts to DECA. There's the business and professional side, and there's also the side where you get to have a lot of fun and do interesting and entertaining things with your friends," said PWHS Senior Arya Venkat.
While most members opted to carve or paint their pumpkin, PWHS Sophomore Cayce Becker was incorporating found objects like netting and fake flowers.
"I went to Michael's without a plan and found a couple things," said Cayce about her unconventional approach. "Throughout all of DECA, it's about creative problem solving and presenting our solutions."
During the school year, the PWHS DECA Club holds regular meetings, runs community service projects and has networking activities like pumpkin carving. However, the main focus of the club is to prepare students for business careers. With that in mind, each DECA member chooses a specific area to explore, picks an event, and participates in business-related competitions. DECA's six career clusters include Business Management & Administration, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing, and Personal Financial Literacy.
"Going into high school, I knew that I wanted to do something with business, but I wasn't exactly sure what. DECA has really allowed me to experiment with what I enjoy in the business field and what I might want to actually do in my future," said PWHS Junior Nate Schindler. "I'm leaning towards marketing or business administration. I've had a lot of fun creating marketing programs in the past with events, and I like the idea of helping companies improve themselves."
The PWHS students' pumpkins will go into the national 2020 DECA Pumpkin Contest in one of four areas: DECA-iest Pumpkin, Funniest Pumpkin, Most Creative Pumpkin, and Spookiest Pumpkin.
PWHS students interested in DECA can reach out to Ms. Rickard, PWHS business teacher and club sponsor.