Many area families undoubtedly want to attend Castleton State College’s annual homecoming football game and pre-game tailgate, but don’t have anywhere for their children to go.
This year, officials from the college’s Residence Life department are sponsoring an improved version of the Family Fun Zone to take care of that problem.
Previously sponsored by the National Guard, Residence Life is now excited to take on the challenge of safely entertaining children while their parents have fun.
“I think it’s an area that’s important to the school, the families and the students that are bringing their brothers and sisters up for the weekend,” Director of Residence Life Mike Robilotto said. “I think that’s where we kind of took over and said we’ll sponsor that. We can make some connections to people that we’ve used in the past and create a nice Family Fun Zone that’s going to be eye-catching and fun for the people that are there for the specific sport or just enjoying the weekend.”
Robilotto explained that the Family Fun Zone this year is going to include a bounce house, 30-foot obstacle course, a 28-foot alligator slide and free cotton candy. There will be plenty of Residence Life Community Advisors and Area Coordinators to keep an eye on the children while their parents enjoy the tailgate.
The bounce house is only for young children due to safety concerns, but children, parents, or college students can use the obstacle course and alligator slide, he said. The cotton candy is a bonus giveaway for anyone who wants to indulge while enjoying the atmosphere of family weekend.
“We’re going to have our Residence Life staff at each station, monitoring what’s going on. I feel very comfortable with that,” said Robilotto, who added that he hopes this event shows students that Residence Life is more than an entity that hands out punishments.
Castleton President Dave Wolk praised the effort.
“When we have the Family Fun Zone, it adds so much to the game day experience,” Wolk said.
Many students interviewed were not aware of the Family Fun Zone, but were excited about it once they heard.
Vincent Guerrera even asked if he could wear his Ninja Turtle pajamas to feel like he was a child again.
“Once you’re getting in the moment and you fall, your tongue just lightly grazes the edge where everybody’s feet have been stepping on, I can’t wait,” said Guerrera reminiscing about his childhood.