Fall Break Top Five

Scranton offers some of the best autumn plans in the country, from beautiful scenery to delicious eateries to picture-perfect pumpkin patches. If you’re spending your fall break in wonderful NEPA, you definitely won’t have a lack of plans. I’ve compiled a list of the five best things to do for your five days of complete fall fun.

Friday:

After your last day of classes, you might be tempted to go into a semi-hibernation. Before doing so, enjoy some (free) First Friday festivities! From 5-9pm, over 25 venues throughout downtown Scranton will showcase live music, paintings, photography, pottery, Halloween themed exhibits and of course, delicious snacks. Singer and guitar player Riley Loftus will perform live at the Steamtown Market Place, Visual artist Sam Kuchwara will show:  Recent Works in Painting and Mixed Media at Northern Lights Espresso Bar, and Painter and printmaker Marc Schimsky will show his work on the first floor of AFA Gallery. Check out the map and kist of First Friday’s locations on http://www.firstfridayscranton.com/

 Saturday:

Boo! It’s officially Halloween season, and if you’re down for an exceptionally haunting experience, head to Reaper’s Revenge Haunted Attraction! Reaper’s Revenge is four haunted attractions in one, combining a haunted hayride, dark forest walkthrough, pitch-black indoor walkthrough, and apocalyptic zombie maze. Not to brag, but it’s also been voted America’s Best Haunted Attraction. If being scared is at the top of your fall break to-do list, test your fate at Reapers!

Sunday:

So, you spent your Saturday screaming and crying (in a cool way) at Reaper’s and need to wind down a bit. What better place to relax than Ritter’s Cider Mill? Ritter’s is an old-fashioned and down-home cider mill open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can enjoy a hayride, corn maze, farm animals, apple slingshots and even watch cider being made! You can sight-see on a not-so-haunted (thank goodness) hayride, sip on some delicious homemade cider, and take in the beauty of NEPA fall all in one trip. Ritter’s is located in Mt. Cobb, just a short 20-minute drive from campus!

Monday:

Fall isn’t fall without carving a pumpkin. Roba Family Farms has you covered. As you pick your perfect pumpkin to bring home, you can enjoy a fresh apple cider doughnut or campfire s’mores. Between the pumpkin patch, mega corn maze, pig races and wagon rides, you definitely won’t be bored. Here are some one-of-a-kind pumpkin carving ideas to try out this year, thank me later for the inspo.

Tuesday:

It’s the last day of break, and before you get ahead on all of the work you procrastinated, there’s still some time for fall fun. Sometimes a little scenery and time in nature is exactly what you need, and NEPA has some of the best fall foliage in the country. Enjoy a scenic drive to Lake Wallenpaupack, the Delaware Water Gap, or the Poconos. Or, for the more adventurous, head to Pocono TreeVentures for the ultimate zip lining experience! I mean, what can get you into the fall spirit more than zipping mid-air through the foliage!

 

Whatever you decide to do this fall break, stay safe, have fun and make the most of your time before midterms!

 

October 19

What I did for Fall Break

By: Kayla Johnson

After the stress of midterm exams and papers, Fall Break was much needed. I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation in the comfort of my home. I got home that Friday afternoon and was instantly greeted by my puppy; he’s a Yorkie named Cooper. It was easy to get back into my routine at home, playing around with my dog and hanging around with my sisters, Brianna and Hailey, and catching up with my ultimate best friend — my mom.

I finally got to see my best friend, George (who I’ve known since I was 5), we talked about anything and everything, like we always do. We binge watched all of the Star Wars movies and downed every kind of candy — maybe too much candy (especially gummy bears, my personal favorite).

My next stop was my grandmother’s house, where I was served up some delicious, homemade Italian pasta with her original marinara sauce paired with meatballs and garlic bread. The perfect meal. It was a basic family night surrounded by my favorite people sharing laughs and never-ending jokes — something I look forward to whenever I come home.

Although it may not seem like much, this Fall Break was everything I needed — a nice amount of relaxation balanced with seeing some of my favorite people. I always look forward to some time to myself without the pressures of schoolwork, but, I also can’t wait until I can come back and see all of my friends. No matter where I am, I always have so much to look forward to and I couldn’t be happier about it.

By Megan Castaldi

Fall Break is one of the most anticipated breaks that we have at The University of Scranton. It is the first break of the year, so I am always eager to go home to visit with my family and any of my friends who may be home as well.

This Fall Break I did not go anywhere exciting or do anything crazy, but rather relaxed and appreciated my time at home. I got to see some of my friends from home, celebrate my sister’s 22nd birthday, watch my brother’s soccer game and bake a bunch of cookies with my grandma.

My grandma loves to bake, so it was nice to do something with her that she really loves doing; she also makes the best cookies you’ve ever had, so that’s an added plus.

The combination of all of these small things made for a very enjoyable Fall Break for me. It was nice to get a break from doing schoolwork and to hang out and enjoy the fall season with family


A Night at the Iron Furnaces: Scranton Bonfire Festival

By: Kayla Johnson

Scranton Bonfire FestivalThis past Saturday, Scranton’s historic Iron Furnaces hosted the sixth annual Bonfire festival. The Bonfire Festival acts as a fundraiser for the Anthracite Heritage Museum and explores the roots of Halloween in good, old-fashioned Celtic style.

Other autumnal festivals and Northeastern Pennsylvania’s industrial history are brought to light and celebrated through the Bonfire Festival. This year’s festival featured tarot card readings, fire twirlers, a Jack-O-Lantern contest, face painting, fire hooping, a balloon artist, stilt walking, a Day of the Dead ofrenda, a fairytale demonstration and plenty of hands-on activities sponsored by the Everhart Museum. There was live theatre, dance performances by Symmetry Studio, a Harvest Display by the Greenhouse Project at Nay Aug Park and — last but not least —the amazing ceremonial lighting of the bonfire.

All were encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween costumes and enjoy the historic site. The crowds enjoyed the activities as the furnaces acted as a picturesque backdrop.

Read more about the bonfire, here!


Step into Reality: The Poverty Simulation

By: Kayla Johnson

This past Friday, the Campus Ministries’ Center for Service and Social Justice hosted the Poverty Simulation, an exercise that allows students to explore what it’s like to struggle to survive with only the bare minimum on a month-to-month basis. The purpose of the simulation is to open the eyes of more than 80 students to the daily battle low-income families deal with, whether it’s being on welfare, attempting to get their next meal or finding child care for children.

“I did this in order to gain a greater insight as to what the real world could be like . . . good or bad,” said Adrian Laudani, a junior who participated in the Poverty Simulation.

The simulation took place in DeNaples and introduced a host of students to the severity of living an impoverished life in this country. The students assumed the roles of more than 26 families facing the harsh reality of poverty. Some of those 26 families are newly unemployed, others are homeless, while some may be senior citizens receiving disability as well as trying to raise their grandchildren. The job of the “families” is to supply basic necessities and decent housing during the course of four weeks lasting 15 minutes.

October 5

 

ccparksThings To Do In Fall
By Megan Castaldi

Fall has arrived! What better way to welcome in the change of seasons than by getting outdoors to part take in the many festive, fun, fall activities in the Scranton region!

Here are a few of the activities #OurScranton has to offer! Read more here.


Canine Friends Provide Stress Relief
By Megan Castaldi

pettherapy
Students are always looking for a way to relieve their stress around midterm time. What better way to do this than to take a study break at Pet Therapy!

Hosted by Campus Ministries’ Center for Service and Social Justice, Pet Therapy had the Dionne Green packed on Sept. 27 with students and faculty members petting and playing with The University of Scranton’s canine friends! This event typically welcomes about 800 visitors and greets around 40 dogs.

Our friendly, furry visitors were happily receiving hugs and belly rubs from members of the community. Many students enjoyed this event because it reminded them of their pets at home.

Junior Devon Tirney said, “I love pet therapy! It’s a great stress reliever from school and is comforting because I miss my dogs from home.”

To learn more about Campus Ministries, click here.

See more pictures of Pet Therapy on our Flickr page.


Beautifying Scranton: Street Sweep Fall 2016
By: Kayla Johnson

streetsweepThe University of Scranton’s student government organized an army of nearly 650 students this past Saturday to take on the streets of Scranton, especially downtown and the historic Hill Section. Many members from student clubs and organizations took the opportunity to exercise service (and just exercise in general . . . those hills are steep!) and give back to the community of Scranton by tidying up the area. More than 400 bags were filled with garbarge.

“It felt great to give back,” said Emily Calderone, a junior. “Even though I’m a junior this is my first Street Sweep. When you’re done cleaning the streets it makes you feel like a better person.”

Service to the community is the driving force of Street Sweep and students and volunteers were excited to help. Hundreds waited in a line that spanned the lengths of the Loyola Science Center’s first floor hallway. They were looking forward to getting their t-shirts and filling up trash bags with litter.

Streets were swept from Madison to Prescott and Mulberry to Myrtle, and were swarming with students from various clubs from the University as well as individuals who just wanted to serve the community. Trekking through the hills with friends and fellow students united the school and the community.


Get to Know the Alumni: Advertising Q&A
By Kayla Johnson

Professor Stacy Smulowitz and the Advertising Club hosted a group of Advertising alumni in the Loyola Science Center recently. The purpose? For alumni to connect with current students from the University and dole out some (much-appreciated) advice and insight to the industry.

The alumni who were invited maintain a strong connection to their university which continues to help shape and mold their careers. So, they were more than willing to do a Q&A for the school after the meeting! Here are some their answers, tips, advice and wise words.

danDan Antonelli, president and creative director for Graphic D-Signs, Inc.

RN: Why were you excited to speak with Scranton students?

DA: It’s important to give back and recognize where you came from, and acknowledge that you wouldn’t have arrived at this point without help from a lot of folks. Without the education from Scranton, and – more importantly – the internship I had at the University in the Publications Office (working for Gerry Zaboski), there’s probably no way I get to where I am today.

RN: What is the best advice you have for students (either graduating or still in school)?

DA: Follow your passion. Find a job that you can’t wait to get to in the morning and that doesn’t depress you on a Sunday night. Life’s too short to work in a job that you’re not passionate about. Chasing money won’t make you happy, but pursuing something you’re truly passionate about will.

RN: What do you consider to be the best gained knowledge from your experience in the real world that you can share with students?

DA: Nothing you do today should be considered good enough for tomorrow. And there is no pinnacle for success. You should always be aiming higher.

ad-alumKaren Mennella, a media trainee at Zenith (part of Publicis Media)

RN: What are some insider industry tips?

KM: Speak up, be passionate, and be ready to learn. For future graduates, don’t be afraid to participate. Also, find what you’re passionate about in the industry and get more involved with it. Lastly, every day is a learning opportunity, so be open to new things and constructive criticism.

RN: How has the industry changed since you’ve joined it?

KM: Even though I’ve only been working in the industry for four months, I’ve already seen so much change in the industry. It’s pretty fast-paced and exciting. Stay on top of trends, know what’s in and out, and know what’s coming.


Student Musician Q&A
By Kayla Johnson

student-musicI recently talked to Richard “Richie” Endico about being a student musician! Read on for more:

RN: What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?

RE: I play percussion and I learned how to play when I was around 5 or 6. I learned from my dad. I also play the piano a bit, which I picked up in high school and learned from my band teacher.

RN: What made you want to be a student musician at The University of Scranton?

RE: When looking at schools my senior year of high school, I wanted to go somewhere that had a music performance program, but something that wasn’t too intense or a class for a credit. When I visited, it was exactly what I was looking for. A wide variety of different performance groups that rehearsed once a week, and it was with student musicians who played because they wanted to, not because they had to.

RN: What’s your favorite thing about a student musician?

RE: My favorite thing about being a student musician are the people I have met so far. Through performance music, I have made some great friends . . . coming from all different backgrounds and majors.

RN: Do you want to play after college? And what are your plans after graduation?

RE: I would enjoy the opportunity to continue playing after college. My plan after graduation is to try and find a few musicians that also play, get together maybe once or twice a week, and jam out. The great thing about music is that there is always something to work on and get better at.

Read more about Student Ensembles here.

Fall Activities in #OurScranton

ccparksNay Aug Park

Nay Aug Park is only a few minutes away from campus and is the perfect place to admire the fall foliage. Get in touch with nature on a hike and take in the “gorge-ous” view from the Wenzel tree house. You can always pack a lunch and enjoy it al fresco at one of the park’s several picnic areas. Find out more here.

Lackawanna River Heritage Trail

The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is part of 70-mile trail system that follows the Lackawanna River. Bike it, walk it or run it – it’s up to you! You can find more information here.

McDade Park

Stay active while enjoying the brisk fall air in McDade Park. The park features basketball and tennis courts, a two-mile cross country course, an outdoor picnic area with charcoal grills and much, much more. Not to mention the breathtaking view of the city of Scranton! Read on here.

NEPA’s Pocono Environmental Education Center Hike

The Pocono Environmental Education Center will be hosting a hike Oct. 15 that will explain the science behind the season of fall! Topics like why the leaves change color and changing animal behavior will be discussed. (And, the cost of the hike is only $5!) Click here to find out more!

Roba Family Farms

Corn mazes, hayrides, pig racing, pumpkin picking and more! You’ll really be in the fall mood after a visit to Roba’s! Tickets are discounted on Fridays with student ID! Find out more here.

Roba Family Orchard

ccroba2One of the best and most common of fall activities is apple picking! Hop on a shuttle at Roba Family Orchard to pick your own apples! The Orchard also features a corn box, a goat corral, and a market that sells fresh donuts! (Yes, there are two Roba locales – don’t get mixed up and end up at the wrong one!) Read on here.

Bonfire Festival at the Iron Furnaces

There is nothing better than a bonfire on a chilly autumn evening! The Bonfire, taking place on Saturday, Oct.15, will be accompanied by live music, fire twirlers, a jack o’lantern competition, face painting and much more! Click here for more details.

Circle of Screams

Prepare for screams and horror at Dickson City’s Circle of Screams, the largest haunted drive-in theater in Pennsylvania! Click here for more information.

Haunted Lanterns Tour

Get in the Halloween spirit at Scranton’s Courthouse Square by going on a historic lantern and candle-lit ghost walk. Find out more info here.

Haunted Houses, Etc., in the Area 

“Howls, Haunts and Hayrides” are all around us! Check out this NEPA Family list for more.

 

October 21

One of the reasons we love fall in #OurScranton is because the region has so much to offer – there’s something to do for everyone.  As the leaves change (and fall!) around us, don’t just sit there – get out and enjoy all things autumn!

Read on to get the scoop on some festive fall activities, both on and off campus! Continue reading