Undie Run! (and some other things)
Students play broomball-a favorite Colby pastime-on Johnson Pond as part of Winter Carnival
It was near midnight in February, when all through the commons, students began chanting, and shedding their garments.
“Undie run! Undie run!” shouted David Lowe ’11, pumping his fist and stirring the half-naked crowd to a frenzy. “Clothes in the bags!”
No, it’s not a nudist colony relay race or a Fruit-of-the-Loom 5K. It’s Colby’s annual Winter Carnival, and its debut charity run for the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, where students literally give away the clothes off their back, sprint around campus—some finishing naked—and return to the student union for hot chocolate and numb knees.
And all of this on Feb. 25, the first night of a carnival weekend that also featured the first-ever Freeride Club Rail Jam on Chapel Hill, tray sledding, sleigh rides, a snow sculpture contest, a chili-making contest, buses to Sunday River, broomball on Johnson Pond, the Winter Formal, an Outing Club telemark clinic at Titcomb Mountain, and the annual Polar Bear Dip in nearby Oakland.
“We should do this every weekend,” said Johnny Schroder ’13, while hiking up Chapel Hill at the Rail Jam, where skiers and boarders alike spent three hours sliding the home-made rail or sailing off jumps into the freshly fallen snow.
Video of the Colby Echo staff making the Polar Bear Dip for charity.
“Dropping!” shouted Lydia Ball ’13 from above as hip-hop blared onto the lit-up nighttime quad and she pushed off with skis underfoot.
The next day, those walking along Mayflower Hill Drive got a glimpse of Colby’s own snowy Egypt, as a team of sculptors put the finishing touches on a Sphinx on Colby Green facing the Miller Library tower. Later, horses trod around that very same space for carriage rides while, Colby’s alpine and Nordic teams competed in the Eastern Championships at Sunday River and Black Mountain respectively.
“The snow sculptures were pretty awesome,” said Lowe. “Thanks to the packable snow, students could create large and intricate designs, such as a dragon, the Sphinx and a used toilet.”
In nearby Oakland, at the 18th annual Alfond Youth Center Polar Bear Dip, Colby students and local swimmers braved icy water at the town’s boat landing to raise money for camp scholarships. Football, baseball, soccer, and volleyball teams represented athletics, while students from the Volunteer Center, the Writers’ Center, and the Echo all made their strides into Snow Pond.
“I can’t feel my toes!” said CVC Co-director John Perkins ’11 as he made his way into the warming trailer. Nearby, an actual polar bear—or man in a polar bear suit—handed out towels to the latest dippers.
Yet despite the common numbness—on-campus or off—the highlights of carnival weekend were as varied as the offerings.
My favorite part were the carriage rides,” said Grayson Palmer ’11. “The chili competition was fun as well—all of the recipes were delicious! And the weather was also very cooperative and gave us some fresh snow on Friday and a sunny day on Saturday. It was magical!”