Small rural villages that contain a college usually find themselves with two communities: the college students and the residents who live in the village all year round. Each has their own interests and they do not necessarily merge. In Morrisville there is a group that works hard to make sure that the communities share each other's interests at least one day at a time.
This past weekend was the third Annual Winter Fest and the Campus-Community Relations Committee was working their magic. With a dedicated group of Morrisville State College students and a number of local resident volunteers this year's festivities went on without a hitch.
The past two years the weather has been less than hospitable, but this year the sun shone and the outdoor activities went on as planned. The MSC Outdoor Recreation Club, comprised of mostly environmental studies students, had cross-country skis and snowshoes ready for those who were willing to try some real wintertime activities.
Advisor Laurie Trotta commented that the group wanted to show the students that winter in Central New York can be a lot of fun.
The hillside at the elementary school was a popular place for those who preferred to do some sledding. In the center of the elementary school field, the students in the Ag Engineering Club had constructed a giant teepee of wood that later became a blazing bonfire.
Inside the Cooperative Extension building, the students associated with WCVM, the MSC radio station, provided music while a steady flow of visitors snacked on chili provided by The Fort and cookies provided by the Crouse Community Center staff. The generations blended. College students, many members of the Gamers Guild, laughed at themselves as they tried their hand at childhood favorites such as Pick-Up Sticks and Jenga. At another table elementary students were learning the fine points of the board game and college-favorite, Apples to Apples. The Wii game system was a popular stop for college students and children as well. The Morrisville IcePlex offered a couple of hours of free skating for those who mentioned the Winter Fest.
Sharry Woodcock, who has served on the Campus-Community Relations Committee for as many years as there have been shared activities, pronounced the day as a very good time for all involved.
Kathy Roher, who also volunteers for the committee, said she was glad to see that the rain that could have come again this year did not arrive.
The next project on the docket will be the Easter Egg Hunt. It will be another opportunity for the college students and local children to celebrate the two communities that make up the village.