Elon College / As we speak at Elon / Elon group gathers for annual Strawberry Competition, plant adoption

The annual fan-favorite, spring-themed competition returned on Friday, Could 6 to the Elon Group Backyard.

Dozens of Elon college students, college, employees and supporters gathered on the Elon Group Backyard on Friday to have a good time a beloved annual occasion – the Strawberry Competition.

“We hope that everyone – even native of us who aren’t affiliated with the college – get to know the Group Backyard, really feel snug coming right here and really feel like they’re part of it too,” mentioned Michael Strickland, who runs the Elon Group Backyard.

Michael Strickland, advisor of the Elon Group Backyard.

Strickland, a lecturer in environmental science and English, hopes the Strawberry Competition, and its sister occasion, the autumn Pumpkin Competition, will assist these see the backyard as a “group asset.”

He began the competition in 2009 and fewer than 5 years later, the occasion had ballooned into one of many extra extremely anticipated occasions on campus. Fourteen years after its inaugural occasion, the Strawberry Competition is continuous to draw herds of friends.

“Annually, I say to the scholars, ‘In case you guys don’t need to do that, I’m OK with that.’ However they need to stick with it. And a month prematurely, I begin getting emails from college and employees asking concerning the competition and the plant sale,” Strickland mentioned.

Jacob Earl ’22 serves contemporary, native strawberry ice cream from Ran-Lew Dairy on the Elon Group Backyard Strawberry Competition, held Friday, Could 6, 2022.

Together with the native strawberry-themed meals, dwell music from pupil performers and self-guided backyard excursions, there was additionally a plant adoption for various sorts of peppers, tomatoes and herbs.

Camille Weiskopf ’23 helped arrange the plant adoption, spending over 10 hours potting and labeling over 100 crops earlier than the competition and giving them out the day of.

Her brother, Ryan Weiskopf ‘21, spent two years working because the farm supervisor for Loy Farm which is how she acquired concerned with the group backyard.

“Over the past 12 months I made a decision to get extra concerned, and I simply fell in love,” Weiskopf mentioned. “The primary aim of the competition is to deliver folks out right here and notice how superior it’s to be out within the backyard.”

Zoë Scherpbier ’25 mentioned the competition has been an effective way for her to unwind with different college students throughout a busy time of the 12 months with remaining exams on the horizon.

Sarah Shiny ’25, sings and performs guitar on the Elon Group Backyard Strawberry Competition.

“It brings college students collectively for one thing outdoors of schooling. With the competition, you possibly can calm down round your fellow pupil physique,” Scherpbier mentioned.

As a commuter pupil throughout her first years at Elon, and on high of the restrictions and virtualization of occasions that got here because of COVID-19, Eileena Boyce ’23 missed out on a number of of the staple Elon occasions. That made attending Friday’s Strawberry Competition even sweeter. Now, she is adamant about getting out and experiencing all of the campus has to supply – particularly the Strawberry Competition.

“I by no means acquired an expertise to be on campus and do stuff,” she mentioned. “However now, I need to begin going to extra issues on campus, particularly because it’s springtime.”

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