If I was to say to someone that Champlain has a spirit week, nine times out of ten, someone would respond with “Why? You don’t even have sports.” Yes, the standard meaning behind a “spirit week” is that you are building up your school’s spirit and energy for a pep rally, that then leads to a big football game. Here at Champlain, we have proven that you don’t need competitive sports to have an awesome spirit week!
Every year a group of students on campus known as CHAMP (Champlain Has Activities and Motivational Programming), get together once a week to plan our more traditional events at Champlain. The event that kicks off the year? A spirit week. The first thing that gets decided with spirit week is the theme. As the years have gone by, CHAMP has brought a completely different theme to the table each September and we have never failed to execute it. Since my first year, the themes have been Blast From the Past (decades theme), America the Beaverful (American themed), and Buffalo Beaver’s Wild West (western themed). Each and every theme has something for everyone. With each spirit week, there are three days of mini-events that lead up to a big carnival on Thursday. As tradition goes, the Monday of every spirit week is “Stoop Decorating.” This event usually takes place in the afternoon and consists of the residence halls decorating their front steps with the spirit week theme in mind. Judges then go around to each of the halls that participate and evaluate their “stoops.” Everyone in the winning hall gets a shirt that states that they won that year. The next two days are filled with more mini-events. In the past, these have been things such as scavenger hunts, photo booths, and creating novelty items that students can take home. Finally, Thursday’s culminating carnival has bouncey castles, fair games, food, and- most importantly- a free t-shirt that correlates to that year’s theme.
As a senior this year, I had been anticipating what my final spirit week theme would be. Of course I wanted it to be a good one, since it’ll be the last one that I’ll ever experience. Just like every year, I was not let down by this year’s theme. To kick off my final year at Champlain, the spirit week theme was The Wonderful World of Chauncey… DISNEY THEMED. I could not have been more thrilled that this was the theme that was chosen for this year’s spirit week. The events that followed the theme didn’t disappoint.
Stoop Decorating→ The halls looked amazing! Each hall took a different spin on a classic Disney Movie. One hall decorated to the theme of The Little Mermaid, while another took on Peter Pan. Whoever wins the stoop decorating contest, gets bragging rights, and a super awesome t’shirt saying that they are the stoop kids for the year! This year, the winning hall was Sanders Hall, who won the judges over with their Under the Sanders Sea, a little mermaid theme!
Disney Caricatures→ In the fireside lounge, CHAMP had hired a company to come and draw caricatures of the students as their favorite Disney character! I LOVE caricatures so this was easily my favorite day!
Colors of the Wind: Color Throwing→ Similar to the Color Run that most of us have had the opportunity to participate in, this event was whirlwind of explosive color as the participating students threw the colored powder at each other.
Movie Night→ To conclude the second night of spirit week, there was an outdoor movie in Finney Quad on a giant inflatable movie screen! To compliment the movie night, there was a popcorn machine with a candy bar! After the movie was over, we had Disney themed trivia as a way to auction off the movie.
Mason Jar Decorating & Coloring→ As a low key event, there was Disney coloring sheets and mason jar decorating set up in the Argosy Gym as well as another Disney movie playing on the screen. The idea behind the mason jar decorating was to create a home for Tinkerbell to live in.
Disney Night at the Grind→ For those of you who don’t know what the Grind is, it’s a weekly open mic night that takes place in our very own Fireside Lounge in the Student Life Center. Though normally they don’t do themed events, CHAMP and the Grind teamed up for Spirit Week to have a Disney night. Those who performed something Disney related were rewarded with a raffle ticket and entered to win fabulous prizes!
ChaunceyWorld→ Finally, to conclude an awesome week of Disney fun, there was a carnival in Finney Quad. The quad was filled with so many fun activities, from bounce houses, to decorating your own Mickey Mouse ears, to a dunk tank! The small area was filled with Disney music and Disney spirit! Those who attend this carnival were given a FREE t-shirt that fit the theme of the week. This year’s shirts were “Disney Blue” with silver lettering. On the front was a picture of Chauncey (our beaver mascot at Champlain) wearing the hat from Fantasia, while on the back was Cinderella’s Castle with a little beaver weathervane at the top!
As spirit weeks come and go, I’m overjoyed that my last one here at Champlain was a great theme with even better events. This will be something I remember forever, although it is very bittersweet. I know that next year’s theme will be even better.
Rachel Hatem is a senior Business Administration major with a specialization in Event Management.