Campfires on Commons offers taste of camping without leaving campus

Photo+Credit+Rachel+Evans

Photo Credit Rachel Evans

Last Friday, students were able to enjoy the warmth of crackling campfires without journeying beyond the center of Calvin’s campus.

Campfires on Commons, an event hosted by Calvin Nite Life, featured five campfires on the patio near Johnny’s, as well as glow-in-the-dark capture the flag, hobo pies and music playing over speakers.

“This was an opportunity for students to come out, have a good time on Commons Lawn and enjoy this space,” said Lauren Mixon, a Weekend Programming intern who worked on organizing the event.

A highlight of the event was the smorgasbord of campfire food, which included s’mores, the classic camping dessert, and hobo pies. Attendees could take bread, stuff it with any combination of foods like Nutella, marshmallow, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, wrap it in tinfoil and roast it over the fire.

“I went for the s’mores and ended up making hobo pies with some of my residents,” said Jessi Robbert, an RA in BHT. “We talked around the campfire for a little while and enjoyed the crisp fall evening.”

First-year student Rachel Evans also enjoyed the ambiance of the event.

“The atmosphere was the best part. It had a very ‘chill’ vibe which made me really comfortable talking with people I didn’t know,” said Evans.

Along with the campfires and food, students had the chance to participate in a game of glow-in-the-dark capture the flag. Teams were split up based on residence hall with participants of each team carrying different colors.

“Capture the flag was really fun because each team had glow sticks, and it was cool to watch different colors run across Commons Lawn,” said Evans.

Students and Weekend Programming staff agreed that the sense of community was a high point of the event, attended by around 150 students.

“It was really neat to see both the off-campus upperclassmen and dorm residents there together, all around the campfire,” said Robbert.

Evans agreed. “Everyone really enjoyed it because it was a chance to hang out and just relax without anything being pressured onto them.”

Mixon explained that organizing Campfires on Commons and similar events isn’t too stressful, but is instead an interesting and enjoyable job.

“It’s exciting planning and leading up to this, knowing it’s going to be a great time and you’ll get to see people running around in the dark with glow sticks.”

One of Mixon’s favorite aspects of Nite Life is coordinating events that can help first-year students become involved and feel at home at Calvin.

“It’s fun to see a lot of freshmen come out, especially for dorm-oriented events, and get really excited that there are these types of events they can participate in.”

Some students stayed right up until the end of the event, around 10:30 p.m., enjoying the camaraderie of sitting around campfires, a taste of the wilderness near Commons Lawn.

“It was great to see people there until the very end,” said Mixon. “It shows that the people who went really enjoyed the evening.”