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Saint Mary’s hosts Lil’ Sibs go to the zoo

| Monday, February 24, 2020

Moving away from home for college usually means leaving behind home-cooked meals, showering without sandals and little siblings. Over the weekend, Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) fixed one of those deficiencies by hosting their annual little siblings weekend event. 

Lil’ Sibs is a two-day event open to on- and off-campus Saint Mary’s students and their younger siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. This year’s theme was, “Lil’ Sibs Go to the Zoo,” with zoo-related activities.

Friday kicked off with a screening of Zootopia in Angela which included snacks and door prizes such as souvenir cups and t-shirts.

Being away at college is hard for both older and younger siblings, so Lil’ Sibs weekend is just a fun weekend getaway where siblings can spend some quality time, said junior RHA president LeeAnn Beaty. 

“The purpose of Lil’ Sibs weekend is to give SMC students a chance to spend a fun weekend with their younger siblings. This gives them an opportunity to create memories with a lot of fun activities,” Beaty said. 

On Saturday, students and their siblings participated in crafts and games and were able to visit the petting zoo. The zoo theme extended to the photo booth with animal ear props and backdrops. 

Junior Sarah Fletcher, spent the weekend with her twelve-year-old brother, Ben.

“It was special to be able to show him around my home and my favorite places on- and off-campus,” she said. “It was so cute that he was really looking forward to eating in the dining hall even though he was disappointed after he tried it.” 

Because siblings come from all different ages and backgrounds one challenge the committee faces is creating activities that are inclusive of all siblings.

“Appealing to a vast age range is definitely an obstacle we face every year with Lil’ Sibs Weekend,” Beaty said. “We don’t want to make the activities too babyish, but we also don’t want to make them exclusively for older kids because some SMC students have siblings that are younger than elementary school. We really think through what we’re planning to ensure that it’s appropriate for all ages that may attend Lil’ Sibs’ Weekend.” 

Sisters Raigan and Lillian Althouse, junior and first-year, respectively, hosted their high school-aged sister, Mackenzie, this weekend. 

“It was fun to all be together in the same place for the weekend,” Raigan said, “Even though Lilly and I are on the same campus and hang out a lot, it was awesome to be able to have our younger sister here to hangout with us too. It was the little things like eating in the dining hall, making late-night runs to Cyber [Cafe] and watching movies that made the weekend special.”

Lil’ Sibs weekend has become a tradition with the Althouse girls since first visiting their older sister who graduated in 2018.

“It’s crazy to think that while the idea of Lil’ Sibs weekend hasn’t changed since my first time here, my memories with my sisters have,” Althouse said.

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About Mia Marroquin

Mia Marroquin is a rising senior Communication Studies major at Saint Mary’s. Currently serving as Saint Mary’s News Editor, she hails from Holland, Michigan and is an 80’s movie fanatic. Follow Mia on Twitter @_miamarroquin

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