5 Winter Traditions at Milton Hershey School
When Milton and Catherine Hershey founded Milton Hershey School, they wanted students to have proper recreation and plenty of opportunities to stay active. The winter time was no exception.
During the winter, when not at class or doing chores, students could often be found outside in the chilly temperature staying warm by having fun. The January 1947 issue of the student-produced School Industrialist informed us that, “Winter is finally here. We anxiously await the snow because it means a lot of fun for us all. Again some of our dare-devils are going to try their luck at skating. More power to them, because they’ll surely need it.”
MHS students enjoyed ice skating on ponds and playing hockey in the community league. On occasion, students had opportunities to play with the Hershey Bears hockey players.
The ice hockey program gave students a feeling of belonging to the community.
During the 1960s, several students received professional figure skating lessons with participation in the annual ice carnival.
When there was a large snow storm, many students remember riding in a sleigh pulled by a horse or mule to get food from another student home. Others remember going to the Main on a bobsled to get bread and milk.
With fresh snow on the ground, students enjoyed sledding and building forts for snowball battles. At the farmhomes, intricate paths were constructed over hills, around rocks, and past silos. The younger students sometimes played snow tag in paths they shoveled through the student home yard. Other students competed in snowman-building competitions with very impressive results.
When it was too cold to skate or sled, students enjoyed innovative indoor activities, such as playing basketball in the school gymnasiums or an empty barn with fruit baskets if they were feeling extra creative. The first cottage homes built in the late 1920s featured a basement area for wintertime play.
Throughout the winter months, Milton Hershey School students stay active by planning fun indoor activities—such as gymnastics and dance parties for the younger students. When the campus is blanketed in snow, students of all ages enjoy spending time outdoors on the school’s beautiful campus.
Learn more about how students and staff stay active during the winter months.
Milt Memories History Blog
MHS Department of School History works hard to preserve the Hersheys’ values and students’ cherished memories through articles, photos, interviews and artifacts. Follow along with our monthly blog series focused entirely on the fascinating school history and inspiring work of our founders.