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Mother Nature alters principal's plan to spend the night on school's roof

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 5:53 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:15 a.m. CDT
Kip Crandall, principal of the David L. Rahn Junior High, waves as he checks the tent he planned to spend the night in while on the roof of the school building as part of a fundraising effort. He had to leave the roof at around 11 p.m. due to inclement weather. He plans to spend an entire night on the roof soon. Photo by Earleen Hinton
Kip Crandall, principal of the David L. Rahn Junior High, checks the tent he will spend the night in while on the roof of the school building. He agreed to spend the night on the roof to help raise money for eighth graders to take a trip to Six Flags in Gurnee. Photo by Earleen Hinton

Oregon administrator Kip Crandall was ready Thursday to make good on his deal with junior high students to spend a night on the roof of the David L. Rahn Junior High as part of a fundraising incentive.

But that's before Mother Nature put her foot down.

Crandall's plan to spend the night on the school roof May 2 was cut short at around 11 p.m. when the mercury dipped into the 30s and strong winds made sleeping in a tent on the roof unadvisable.

He went home to get a safe night's sleep and plans to attempt to fulfill his end of the bargain in the near future when weather conditions are more favorable.

Earlier in the day, Crandall had the rest of his night pretty much mapped out.

He planned to spend the night reading a good book and maybe playing some video games on his phone.

The 46-year-old Oregon school administrator was making good on a pledge to spend the night on the school building's roof after $2,700 was raised to help the eighth grade class spend May 3 at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.

"A lot of the kids asked me today what I was going to do," said Crandall. "I told them I had a book and might play some games on my phone.

"There's really not a lot I can do," he said smiling.

Crandall agreed to spend the night on the roof as a way to motivate the eighth grade class to raise funds for a physics field trip to Six Flags.

School secretary Betty O'Brien had the initial idea for the project, Crandall said.

"We started talking about this last September and then we talked to the kids in January about it," she said.

“We’re trying to resurrect an educational field trip for this eighth grade class, but we thought the cost of the trip was just too much for some students," Crandall said. "Betty said why don't we fundraise so I challenged the kids find ways to raise funds. They did so I’ve got to hold up my end of the bargain.”

The goal was to bring down the overall cost of the trip from $36 to $15 per student. Students raised money for the field trip through various fundraising efforts and donations.

The biggest donation was $1,000 from Bollinger & Mabillard Coasters, a roller coaster company located in Switzerland, O'Brien said.

"The kids will pay $15. We have 114 kids out of 127 going on the trip," said Crandall.

O'Brien watched carefully as Crandall went up 2 ladders in a brisk wind late Thursday afternoon to check on his tent located on the northeast corner of the school.

At that point, a forecast for rain throughout the night didn't dampen Crandall's spirit. His family was planning on bringing him dinner and his favorite snacks including a Powerade.

"I have a sleeping bag, pillow, top sheet. I will be checking the weather with my phone. I will be OK," he said.

The eighth graders trip to Six Flags continued as planned Friday despite the presistent rain.

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