Using Halloween to Your Advantage


Are you doing anything particularly spooky this Halloween?

While I can’t say October 31 is my favorite holiday — Christmas anyone? — I do think it’s an opportunity for your rec center to take advantage of in its own original way. If a quarter of your students are half as excited as one of my coworkers is about witches and pumpkins, you can definitely reach them by doing something a little bit scary.

In fact, while thinking about this blog I began to wonder, “What are rec centers doing for Halloween?” Using my nifty right-hand man, Google, I found numerous campus recreation departments getting involved in the festivities this month.

For instance, Missouri State University’s Campus Recreation is hosting a Haunted Trail today in their facility. Students are asked to get involved in set up, makeup, costumes and taking on the roles to scare their peers. It’s a free event and highlights the spookiness of this month.

Another school, Oswego SUNY, is hosting a night of haunted houses, scary movies and more on October 28. The university’s Campus Recreation is teaming up with two halls on campus to offer a wide range of activities students can attend.

It might be a little late this year to plan for a haunted trail through your facility or to put on a your very own monster mash, but I do think these examples highlight the benefits of thinking outside of the box. So that leads me to some questions: What fun holidays or university events are coming up that you can get involved in? Could you do “A World of Winter Holidays” in December or January, celebrating traditions from around the globe? What about a fall festival with games and activities to get students through their midterms?

Beyond the aspect of marketing to students, also think about how to get your staff involved. Putting together events can be a bonding experience like no other. I often find volunteering at fall festivals or holiday parties hold some of my fondest memories. It could be the same for your student staff members.

But if you are doing something exceptionally spooky this, year, please share below. I’d love to hear how you’re trying to scare the living daylights out of your students!

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at


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