Raft Day in a nutshell

Some odd number of years ago, a group of adventurous students gathered friends both near and far to join them on an excursion to the Grasse River on the first warm Saturday of Fall here at St. Lawrence University.  Their idea flourished and became an annual event, eventually turning into the infamous Raft Day.  A day where nearly the entire student body treks off campus, carrying rafts of all shapes and sizes, to enjoy the short-lasting warm weather as a community.  Scott Shouvlin, a sophomore at SLU used his own words to describe Raft Day as, “One of the best days of the year to gather as a community.” These rafts, however, are not your average flotation devices.  Ranging from air mattresses to inflatable castles, there is no cap to creativity when it comes to Raft Day.  A lesson I learned as a second-year Raft Day attendee is that: A raft is most definitely useful, if not highly recommended. A few daring students decided to slum it this past Raft Day, including me, and figured we’d share with others on their luxurious floats. While everyone was more than friendly to lend a corner of their raft, there were several stragglers continuously struggling to stay afloat.  This year I spent the majority of my time in the water, versus Freshman year where I did not step foot near the refreshing NOCO river.  During my time in the river I learned a few useful useful tips: 1. Do not wear a strapless bikini, because no matter how hard you try, the chances of a wardrobe malfunction are extremely high. 2. Expensive sunglasses? Don’t even think about it, they do in fact, sink. 3. To many people’s surprise… You can stand in the middle of the river! It is not deep, so if you can live with squishing some mud between your toes, you are golden. Forget the worries of drowning folks! Realizing that you could very easily stand in the Grasse River is a massive game changer, but be sure to beware of the occasional rock.  With this fun and useful fact in mind, it becomes effortless to swim around the floats like a social butterfly.   Not a water person? Never fear, the shore is just as fun and exciting. With all the students coming in and out of the river, combined with the blaring speakers playing your favorite tunes, it is hard to dislike this day at St. Lawrence. It is just as much fun to chat with others, observe the amazing scene out on the river, or even watch daredevils of the student body perform impressive tricks off the rope swing.  It is impossible not to enjoy yourself on this incredible Saturday. This year St. Lawrence had an amazing outcome of students, resulting in an all-time epic Raft Day.