The Clambake Comeback

Catalina Passino, Assistant Features Editor

The Outing Club held their annual fall Clambake on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Popham Beach State Park, hosting around 160 students. 

The student-run tradition has been running for five decades and counting, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last Clambake happened in 2019 when the current seniors were first years.

“It’s been such a tough two-ish years with COVID, and all these events are just coming back. So being able to gather… 160 students… together, it’s really fun to see,” Coordinator of Outdoor Education & Programming Catie Luedee said.

With a history spanning 102 years, the Bates Outing Club was ready to bring the event back for the Bates student body.  

“The Outing Club definitely had a lull for the last two years. It’s…been hard to organize stuff and people are just so exhausted.. So this shows a turning point… and slowly, the Outing Club is becoming more [of]… a thing on campus,” Outing Club leader Pia Schultz ‘24 said.

At Popham Beach, students participated in several activities including seashell hunting, hanging with friends, exploring the Popham Beach area and swimming. Despite 50 degree weather and strong winds, a couple of students waded across chest-deep waters to get to a nearby island.

“There were like five in our little group that waded across, it was actually not that cold but we had to sacrifice dry pants to get over there… it was definitely worth getting kinda soaked,” Fletcher Libre ‘26 said.

Stating that they thought they had more fun than they thought they would, Savannah Walske ‘26 enjoyed when the tide went out and they could run out to see what it had revealed. 

“As a Californian, I was excited to participate in what I’ve been told is a big New England tradition,” Walske said. 

Students were given a choice between five dollar (veggie) burgers and 10 dollar lobster. Other snacks such as pasta salad, La Croix and cookies were also provided by Bates Dining and Gendron’s Seafood. 

Some attendees wished they had prepared better for the event.

“We would definitely go again,” Kate Lee-Gilligan ‘26 said, referring to her friends Lily Zink ’26 and Jocelyn Belena ‘26, “but we would pack swimsuits.” 

Walske expressed that they wished “we had been more informed on the plans for the day, as there were some things I would’ve definitely brought if I knew what I know now.”

“I’m trying to catapult and use this momentum to keep doing things…also it’s just really fun and I’m really proud. We put on our first event in a while, and it was a success,” Schultz said.