Student Life

Behind the Scenes: Kidnap 2017

By: Amy Z. (‘19)

Ask any group of Gryphons to name the most iconic Crystal tradition, and “Junior-Senior Kidnap” will no doubt rank among the top responses, alongside Snow Day and Lip Sync. Yet this much-hyped celebration of inter-grade friendship can be a source of confusion to underclassmen and students new to Crystal. What really happened that Monday morning a few weeks ago when all upperclassmen seemingly disappeared from campus after a half-hearted, unexplained two-minute appearance onstage? Read on to find out what Kidnap’s really all about!

The first quarter can be a stressful time of year for all Gryphons, but juniors and seniors have an especially rough ride. The Class of 2019 spends the fall months realizing just how heavy an honors-ridden workload can be, continuing the ever-going struggle against tyrannical English grades, and worrying more and more about GPAs, SATs, and ACTs. Meanwhile, the Class of 2018 faces the daunting task of college applications (don’t believe me? Jack V. and Bella ‘18 chose college application interfaces as their spooky Halloween costumes this year), with second-semester senioritis seeming excruciatingly far away.

Thus, Kidnap provides a much needed respite from the daily grind—students rave about getting out of tests and passage analyses and mind-numbing classes for a day-long retreat in the city. Wacky costumes imposed upon the seniors by junior buddies add to the fun factor. This year’s theme was Disney: Bella ‘18 wore a dog cone and Christmas lights as a human Pixar lamp, Jonathan ‘18 rocked a bathrobe and paper fan in a crude imitation of one of the princesses in Mulan, and Josh and Mitsuo ‘18 transformed into Beauty and the Beast, respectively.

After snatching our seniors from their first-period classes (or free periods), we took the stage to the accompaniment of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” then climbed on buses to the city. For those students (and faculty!) left behind, here’s a vivid account of the rest of Kidnap 2017, in the words of juniors and seniors themselves.


“We went to Pier 39 and did a scavenger hunt, and then we stayed there and played games and ate. It was really exciting surprising the seniors in their first period classes—although none of them really ended up being surprised.” — Mia ‘19

“For Kidnap 2017, we went to Pier 39 and the Ferry Building, shot up some zombies, drank frappucinos, ate Gott’s burgers, and overall had a great time!” — Justin C. ‘19

“We had a blast posing for pictures and watching the hilarious sea lions at Pier 39 while finishing off a bucket of mini donuts. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the best of the Ferry Building: Gott’s burgers and milkshakes, Humphry Slocombe ice cream, and the gorgeously composed aisles of Sur la Table.” — Amy ‘19

“Me and my senior splurged some money on a great morning. Then [we] went to the Ferry Building to get got by Gott’s line, so we went some other place with a group and talked about stuff.” — Grant ‘19

“Went to the MOMA and saw the exhibit ‘Soundtracks.’ Had some overpriced food at Pier 39.” — Athena ‘18

“After arriving in Union Square, my group had all these plans to go shopping and get boba and take pictures but we ended up spending two hours in Forever 21, trying on some ridiculous clothes and most likely annoying the other customers. Although our plan didn’t work out, we had so much fun and made some great memories.” — Sarina ‘19

“During Kidnap, we went to Pier 39 and were popping in and out of stores and restaurants all day. Besides the slight food coma afterwards, overall, it was a super chill day with lots of food and even more fun!” — Lara ‘19

“My bus went to Pier 39 and we walked around all the stores. Then for lunch we went to the Embarcadero and we fiended some nice lemongrass pork.” — Jonathan ‘18

“During Kidnap I was stuck with a group full of around ten boys as we played a ‘7D’ video game at Pier 39 killing things during a zombie apocalypse. I screamed the entire time but managed to escape being in last place!” — India ‘19

“I loved just hanging out with my senior throughout the day, bonding and making more memories. Seeing them all in their costumes was one of the funniest things ever and I know everyone had fun!” — Caroline ‘19

“On Kidnap, we stayed at Pier 39 and stayed with another group of kidnap-ees. We did the mirror maze, took cute photos, visited shops, and had an amazing crepe.” — Sawyer ‘19

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