All our previous swim team banquets were very much the same, dress up affairs in the dining room of the Club. It was always the day after the big swim meet and we were all very, very tired. City-County ribbons and medals were passed out, some marginal food was eaten and participation trophies were garnered by all.
But someone, I don't know who but they are a fricking genius, decided that we should wait a few weeks and have an end of season pool party instead. While there was still marginal food, it is a country club after all, the formal and boring was replaced with swimming, relays, and even an outdoor movie once it got dark. The bar outside was in full swing and the adults, rather than having to threaten their children in order to keep them quiet during presentations, got to enjoy an adult beverage and talk with grown ups. It was lovely.
The only presentation was by one of the parents, Jenny, a perpetual cheerleader for the team, not to mention a damn fast swimmer herself, who fired up the kids for next season.
But the best was saved for last.
Rather than participation trophies, an item against which I am vehemently opposed, the kids each received a RCC pool towel. Hallelujah. It is practical, special, and doesn't elevate mediocrity all at the same time.
I couldn't have been happier.