By CAROLINE CORNISH
Raleigh NC has some very unpredictable weather, that’s why staff and students were worried about our annual Easter celebration that was planned for Saturday, March 31st. This event was planned as a way to bridge Chinese student’s love of BBQ meat with American’s celebration of easter traditions such as collecting hidden eggs, dyeing eggs beautiful colors, eating chocolate and delicious food, as well as competing for who can stuff the most marshmallows in their mouth and still say ‘Chubby Bunny.’ Ultimately, we wanted UPP students and staff to spend a day in the sunshine playing games, enjoying food and each other’s company, while also learning about the penultimate Spring holiday to welcome in the sunshine and flowers.
The event was widely considered a huge success, as long as you enjoy food and fun. The weather was on our side as it was a balmy 65 degrees F and students were able to participate in a number of activities based on their interest. With a whopping 60 people in attendance, there was plenty of work to be done to ensure everyone was fed. A group of helpful students spent the first 30 minutes of the afternoon putting meat on sticks to prepare them for grilling.
While this was going on, on most students took part in a competition to see who’s team could collect the most hidden eggs. UPP staff and interns hid colored eggs all around the park area (240 total) and the six teams (denoted by colors Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Orange and Purple). While some nearby children stole some of our eggs, students all enjoyed the thrill of finding them with their team members, looking under trees, behind rocks, and in the bushes. After this group activity, students chose what they wanted to do next. Soccer matches took place on the grass while others’ decorated beautiful eggs.
While games went on, the leader kept track of how many points individuals were winning for their teams. Points were awarded based on placement and scores of a number of activities: egg hunt, soccer game, capture the flag, prettiest egg, frisbee throws and chubby bunny. Students seemed to struggle with the game Capture the Flag, which is an American favorite among children. Students took the game, made their own rules, and still were able to compete in one very large, chaotic, and dramatic match that lasted longer than expected but was hilarious and eventful to watch.
Throughout the whole time students enjoyed some Chinese style BBQ that students had a hand in making in grilling. Our master student chef’s, Yang and Rex did a great job helping our staff with the food, while student Wills Wang was an impressive help in managing the crazy game of Capture the Flag.
Event highlights include the hilarious match of Chubby Bunny, where students Tom and Zale won a lot of points for their team, the Blue team, for both getting 11 marshmallow’s in their mouth. Onlookers erupted into hysterics at the end when Zale could no longer hold all of the candy in his mouth and spit it out in the trash can.
The final competition, the frisbee match, gave individuals a chance to throw their frisbee far and accurately into the chosen zones awarding different points. Dylan Gao was the most skillful in his throw, he was the only one who was able to land his frisbee in the 3 point zone, with most students winning their team points with frisbees in the 1 point zone.
The blue team took home the prize at the end of the day, a free and fancy dinner to a local restaurant worth $200!! Here are the winning smiles of team mates who participated eagerly in all the activities and even took their loses with graces. Students enjoyed the event for the beautiful weather, home-cooked food that tasted of home, and enjoyed learning about some of Easter’s most fun traditions this time of year.
Good thing we did not postpone this event until the next weekend, where it was 45 degrees and rainy!! The Saturday was meant for us as students and staff usher in the end of the semester, ready for their exams and build excitement for entering NC State in the fall semester!
Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make this event one of the highlights of the year!