Homecoming Weekend: Cardboard Canoe Race

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October 15, 2018 by

Every year since I’ve been at Cedarville, I’ve gone to the annual cardboard canoe races during homecoming weekend, and this year was no exception. In these races, teams made up of freshmen engineering students make two-seater cardboard boats out of cardboard and tape. They are not allowed to use any other material beyond these two, and teams can’t use any more cardboard or tape than they are allotted. Other organizations on campus can also participate! The ROTC guys are frequent competitors, and a student art organization, which many of my friends are involved in, The Studio, participated this year as well!

When homecoming weekend comes around, these engineering students and the other competitors must take their work and test it out on Cedar Lake, the large lake that makes up the center of campus. They do this by putting two members of their team into their boat and then  paddling themselves across the lake as quickly as possible. Some make it quickly, others finish in a leisurely manner, while many sink well before the finish line. This is all for a grade in one of their classes.

As I went to the canoe race this year with a few friends, I knew exactly what to expect, and I wasn’t disappointed. There is something special about seeing people lined up five deep all around one half of the lake to watch freshmen succeed or watch their grade sink with their boat. With Resound Radio playing loudly over speakers as a backdrop, the crowd cheered for people who completed the race, yelled encouragements at those who were moving slowly, and let out cries and laughs when a team’s boat split apart and deposited its captains into the water.

The cardboard canoe races are a great tradition during homecoming weekend, and I’ll miss them after I graduate! It’s such a cool event and it does a good job at bringing the campus together around a concept that is, at its base, quite silly.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been able to attend every one since I’ve been here, and I’ll look forward to seeing them in the future when I come back to homecoming as an alumni!


Till next time.

Cal Jones

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