SHEPHERDSTOWN- Shepherd University is looking to jump into the Halloween spirit with the annual Shep-or-Treat community event! The community event is offered to children 14 and under as a great way to get ready for Halloween.
After canceling the event in 2020, Shepherd is excited to once again offer this opportunity to Shepherd students as well as the general community. The event will be taking place on Oct. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the G-Lot parking lot by the Wellness Center.
In prior years, the event took place in residential halls and the Wellness Center. In order to adhere to COVID safety measures, Shep-or-Treat has been reimagined as an outdoor event. Rachel Meads, an organizer of the event, notes that the Shep-or-Treat will avoid close-contact, but still include “a wide variety of games, giveaways, and trick or treating stations.”
Before the pandemic, the event attracted almost 500 visitors to enjoy “a safe, fun Halloween experience,” says Meads. The organizers are hoping to see this level of participation again with the 2021 event.
The event was created by the Student Government Association and Shepherd’s Residence Life Department. While this event helps to provide a fun experience for children in the community, the event is also for the Shepherd students. Students have the opportunity to engage in their community in a meaningful and joyous way.
College can be extremely isolating for students. They are away from home and their families for an extended period of time as well as dealing with the stress of courses and extracurriculars. During the pandemic, many students enter a cycle of repetition where they only leave their dorm for courses and meals.
For the students participating in Shep-or-Treat, they have an opportunity to break this cycle engage in the community in a unique way. They can volunteer with other clubs and organizations to find creative ways to provide a fun experience that they would have wanted as children.
In Meads’ experience, she has seen that students have ended up “enjoying the experience even more than the kids.”
Shep-or-Treat is a decades long tradition at Shepherd that gives the students a chance to volunteer to the community. Meads hopes that this is a tradition continued at Shepherd for a long-time for the students and community to enjoy in the future.