Little kids dressed as everything from zombies to brides were standing outside the doors of Castleton University’s Shape Gymnasium Sunday waiting for the clock to strike 1 p.m.
As soon as the doors were opened, the families began flooding in. Some children rushed toward the face painting station. Others went right to the golf putting game to try to win some candy.
Castleton University teamed up with the Castleton Lions Club to host a Halloween Party for local elementary schoolers. The event is organized by the Health and Physical Education Department at Castleton, but any club or team was welcome to host a station for the kids to enjoy.
“It’s just a great collaborative event for Castleton University and the Castleton community,” said Katy Culpo, lead organizer for the event.
Parents in the gymnasium were enjoying the event as well. With such a safe and fun environment, they could sit back and drink some cider while their kids enjoyed themselves.
“It’s something fun for the kids to do on Halloween … They keep them out of trouble, and it’s free so it gives them something to do,” said Tearsa Brannock, a parent at the event. Her child could be seen running around dressed as a lion.
With party music playing and kids laughing and yelling in excitement, the gym quickly became so loud you had to be within a few feet of a person to have a conversation.
The stations themselves offered various challenges for the kids. If they succeeded, they got to take a piece of candy including Snickers and Lifesavers.
One little girl dressed as Wonder Woman could be heard yelling “I got a strike” over at the bowling station. A small group of kids were running from station to station competing to see who could win more. Even some parents were getting in on the action, trying to beat their children.
Events like these are great for the college students who work them as well. They get community service hours and simply have a good time.
One of the CU student volunteers, Kaylee Boutin, said the college students may get more out of it than the kids do.
“We get a chance to experience what it’s like working with children, and it allows us to develop those skills and it’s just a lot of fun to be around them,” Boutin said.
The event began to wrap up around 3 p.m., and by that time most of the kids were ready to go home and eat their winnings from the previous two hours of play. By 3:30 you wouldn’t have known the event took place.
“It was fun and there was a lot of activities… but they could have stepped up the haunted house,” said a laughing Ella Kuehn, one of the local grade schoolers in attendance.