Younger siblings attend 15th-annual siblings weekend


Photo by Robin Zylstra

The weekend of February 27-March 1 marked the 15th anniversary of Calvin’s siblings weekend, and 270 younger siblings attended.

With eye-catching, mouth-watering meals in the dining hall, open swim time in the aquatic center, karaoke and make-your-own sundae bar, Calvin is fully confident they made an outstanding impression on their students’ siblings and families alike.

Robin Zylstra, department assistant of Student Life, said it best: “It is no easy task to host 270 plus siblings on campus and have it be such a success year after year.”

Keeping the siblings and the students occupied requires a lot of activities, especially since their ages range from five to 18. It’s important that there is an event for every visitor and student to enjoy.

“There is not one bad event offered,” said Zylstra. “Everything has a good turn out.”

Although it is successful year after year, that does not mean it is always the same. Calvin likes switching things up time after time to keep things interesting for veteran siblings, but the most popular events stick around. “The climbing wall always fills up because space is limited,” said Zylstra.

One event that is not normally offered was the Calvin-Hope men’s’ basketball game. Obviously, attendance at this game is never an issue, but “we couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Zylstra. “The game was just a huge bonus falling on siblings weekend.”

While the activities are fun and draw a lot of people in, some students value — and look forward to — the chance to spend time with their siblings, share the college experience with them and show them what Calvin is all about.

Sophomore Jonathan DeHaan said, “It was just great having [my brother] here and sharing the experience of college with him, as well as giving him an inside look into what Calvin is.”

Siblings weekend is a great way to expose the Calvin community, but also provide the opportunity for Calvin students’ families to see what they are experiencing while away from home.

After such a successful year, the Student Life department and others involved cannot wait for next year. Robin Zylstra would love to thank all those who make siblings weekend possible.