A Cheer(io) Experience

Windsor sophomore Jaelyn Sutton was able to travel to London over the winter break

McKenna Casey, Editor-in-Chief


While most students spend the holidays at home or with family, one Windsor sophomore had an amazing opportunity to visit Europe in December

Jaelyn Sutton is a member of Windsor’s cheer team that visited a cheer camp from the Universal Cheer Association over the summer. Sutton then auditioned for the All-American team and made the cut. She has been fundraising ever since to make the winter trip to London. 

“It wasn’t cheap, but I think the experience was well worth it,” Sutton said.

She spent four days with 200 other All-American cheerleaders preparing for the London New Year Parade in the city of London. Sutton recalls the work days as long and she was disappointed about how quickly the routines were pushed out for the final product.

Sutton said, “It was really rushed–we didn’t really have a break. We started at about 6 am, breakfast at 7, and just went on throughout the day. We didn’t get a lot of sleep, but it only lasted four days.”

Besides the training for the parade, Sutton and the 200 other teens were able to sight see after morning rehearsals. 

“Throughout the week, we got to sight see and do whatever we wanted to do and then our last day we were there was the actual parade,” Sutton said. 

Jaelyn Sutton was able to enjoy the experience with her grandfather, Steve Sutton.

“This trip definitely brought me and my grandfather closer. We had never really gotten to have one on one time before, since I have three other siblings. I’m glad he went with me,” Jaelyn Sutton said.

She was able to visit many places and shops while she stayed in the downtown area. Sutton had some highlights, but her favorite part was visiting a piece of English history.

“(My favorite part was) going to Windsor Castle, actually,” Sutton said. “They had a bunch of cool shops in the small village before you get to the actual castle. They had a lot a musical stuff and shops and food. It was really pretty in (the castle), but I’m not into the whole history of stuff, but it was still cool. I’m just not a museum person.”

Sightseeing wasn’t the only thing she spent her time doing–Sutton also visited a popular coffee chain that was also located across the pond but had one key difference than the locations back home.

Sutton said, “They don’t use plastic straws! I went to Starbucks a few times and they were all paper and it was disgusting, they melted in my mouth… I’m so happy we have plastic straws here.”

At first Sutton wasn’t sure if she even wanted to go on the trip because no one else from Windsor would be going and it was very expensive. After talking it over and fundraising, she grew more excited for her winter journey and the new experiences she may have. 

Not everything can be peachy keen all the time, however. Sutton had one memorable meal that proved this to be true. A trip to a certain restaurant reassured the cheerleader that she was an omnivore and could not forgo meat. 

Sutton said, “I think the worst thing was when I ate at this vegan place. It made me sick the next day so I don’t think I could do that ever again. I am not vegan for a reason.” 

By the end of the trip, Sutton was excited to perform in the New Year parade, however, she found that her idea of what it would be was vastly different from the truth. She described how others related to the scale of the parade to major parades back home.

“I heard some people say that the Macy’s Parade was a lot bigger and that this parade seemed like it was a lot more hyped than what it actually is, it mostly just consisted of American people,” Sutton said, “It’s a big American showcase!” 

Despite the misconceptions she had at first, Sutton greatly enjoyed the experience. While some of her fellow teammates traveled to Paris and further into Europe, the Windsor sophomore decided to stay in London and enjoy the area.

“I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I’ll just discover what’s already here, ” Sutton said.