The Stray Shot

  • The “Stray Shot” was the name of a monthly publication that made its debut in March 1884. It was the school newspaper, literary journal, alumni bulletin, and for a time, the town’s newspaper.

  • In 1959, the editor of the “Stray Shot,” Thomas Roderick Dew ’59, donated a 200-pound Civil War cannon ball, about the size of a beach ball. His father purchased it from an antique store and donated to the school in honor of his graduation.

  • This “Stray Shot” has become a source of frustration and amusement for generations of students who have taken up the annual challenge of hiding and finding the cannon ball across and around campus.

  • The third iteration of the ball is estimated to weigh 90 pounds and is about the size of a soccer ball.

  • Over the years, it has been rolled down the Green Hill, lost in a pond, hidden in snow banks and fireplaces, buried, and soldered to walls, amidst shenanigans, mayhem, and intrigue, according to longtime School Archivist Paula Krimsky, who was equally challenged to document the history of this beloved tradition. 

  • In the game today, the holders of the ball (traditionally seniors) carve their initials in the iron and lead teams of searchers (traditionally underclassmen) through a series of cleverly designed clues based upon the campus and school history.

  • The team in possession of the Stray Shot at the end of the school year begins the game over again the following year.