Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 21, 2018

Students Enjoy a Weekend Getaway at Camp Mack

Kaleigh Gabriel

Students bonded with friends and enjoyed an eventful day by the lake at Camp Mack on Sept. 8.

Camp Mack Day is a long tradition at Manchester University. It's a day where students can enjoy kayaking, swimming, playing volleyball and frisbee and roasting marshmallows for s'mores.

The Camp Mack tradition began in 1939 when a parade of students numbering 500-600 marched to the railway station for a ride to Lake Waubee. Since then, the event has been annually put on by the Student Activities and/or Religious Life. Starting at 10 a.m. the festivities begin and continue until 2 p.m. In that time students are free to choose what activities they do.

"I was so excited to go to Camp Mack so when I arrived it met all my expectations," said first-year Jojo DeLaRosa. "I did want to go swimming so I was disappointed that it was too cold. I expected shorts and tank top, not sweatpants and long sleeves." The weather was in the lower 60s with misty rain all day, which prevented swimming due to the cold. However, she says it was a great experience.

DeLaRosa also recounts a story from her favorite part of the day when her friends took a rowboat out on Lake Waubee. "I pointed out a turtle and it appeared to not be moving. We moved closer to the turtle only to find out it was an eel-like fish," she said. "We thought it was dead so when we scared it and it moved we freaked out and almost tipped the boat over. We also tried to catch up to the swans on the lake in our rowboat."

Camp Mack Day is also a great time for friends to bond and for people to embrace new experiences. "It was my first time being able to go to Camp Mack and I am glad I did," said sophomore Julia Macias-Ramirez. "It is definitely a good time to forget about homework for a bit. I think that if someone goes to Camp Mack they should definitely go with a group of friends. I also loved that I had the ability to experience it with some of my SOL students; it was such an amazing time with them. Camp Mack is definitely a time to bond."

The day also included tug-o-war, hiking and a fire to chat with friends around. Camp Mack is home to the "flying squirrel," a full-body harness that can be hoisted 35 feet into the air. People can take turns yanking their friends up into the air.

Further, Camp Mack is home to the Living Cross, a tree that has grown into a cross shape. "My favorite part was being able to see the Living Cross," Macias-Ramirez said. "It was an awesome experience seeing the tree myself."