November Was One Heck of a Brodeo

by Devin Cornelius ’12, Ellen Kirkness ’12 and Katie Nolan ’12

We all know “No Shave November” is a popular trend among male high school and college students; it’s a time when shaving is banned and the students let their facial hair grow wild and free. But this year, sophomores Andrew Wasik, Brian McNeely, Christian Carswell and Evan Francis have taken it to the next level by taking part in “Brovember.”

“Brovember” could only be desrcibed by an original bro as “a time where everyone who’s a bro just gets together and we just sit around and be bros. There’s no arguing, there’s so fighting, no mentioning of girls or anything. It’s just hang out, have a good time, do things that bros do. It’s some good old-fashioned male bonding,” said Francis.

Francis started it all by finding the Facebook group in late October and sharing his findings with his fellow bros. “I thought it was really funny. I didn’t think it was very realistic until the first day when we cut down a tree. Having that lumber jack outfit on, the ax in my hands, and the cool breeze blowing through my hair just made me feel so alive that I had to get more. I was hooked on Brovember, and ever since then it’s been a life style. Every day I get home and check my Facebook to see what’s on the agenda for tomorrow,” said Francis.

The founders of Brovember, a group of students in Frederick, posted daily tasks that participants like Wasik, McNeely, Carswell and Francis must complete. Their manly tasks included having to cut down a tree, buying a month supply of beef jerky, going fishing, wearing all denim, completing the Taco Bell Challenge and pumping out 300 push-ups. “We do it for self-perseverance and self-preservation. We’re just trying to stay young, manly and improve the many bromances of Sherwood,” said McNeely.” My favorite task was when we had to tailgate at college football game. We didn’t have access to one … so we made a fire in my backyard, put a grill on, threw a couple burgers on, hung out in lawn chairs. It was a fun event that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Throughout last month, “Brovember” gained in popularity as upper and lower classmen alike joined in on the fun. “I’ve for sure made a lot of new friends like the older kids who are doing Brovember like [seniors] Chris Wykoff and Joe Killion … I think it’s safe to say that I am one of their bros now. That’s been really important,” said Wasik. Wasik has also enjoyed making new friends on Facebook due to the hundreds of people commenting on their Brovember pictures and videos. With Brovember attracting so much attention nationwide, the boys have received comments from others bros as far as California.

As a part of “Brovember,” all participants kept the “Brovember spirit” in mind. “There is no controversy between my friends; I like how we don’t argue,” Francis said. “In response to criticism [that Brovember is a silly waste of time], I think that that is exactly the opposite of the Brovember spirit and if you find yourself saying negative things like that, then I say back to you, ‘ha ha.’ Being kind and friendly and accepting of others is what Brovember is all about.”

As a reward for completing all of their manly tasks, each member aspires to be given the prestigious Most Valuable Bro award. “MVB is the person who performs all the tasks the best and documents them the best. They get honor, valor, land and bragging rights,” Wasik said, “You have to prove that you have guts.” With an almost cult-like following among some of the students at Sherwood and superb documentation of their tasks, Wasik, McNeely, Francis and Carswell are definitely in the running, but there are still future opportunities. “All I can say is that I cannot wait for Manuary,” hinted Wasik.