Winter Carnival Ends With a Splash


Katherine Merisotis

Credit: Katherine Merisotis ’23

Friday, Bates College students flocked to Lake Andrews to participate in Puddle Jump 2023. The event came at the end of this year’s Winter Carnival. Students were all too happy to participate in Puddle Jump after Lost Valley Takeover was canceled due to extreme weather conditions.

Eloise Wyatt ’26 and Jocelyn Belena ’26 embrace after a frigid dip in Lake Andrews. (Hannah Kothari)

Puddle Jump was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, so this was only the second year that students were able to participate after the hiatus. As always, students received a safety briefing the day before the event. This year’s briefing came from Catie Luedee, the coordinator of outdoor education and programs. Luedee sent out an email about the importance of wearing shoes in Lake Andrews, bringing warm layers, taking cold showers and more. Emergency Medical Services were present throughout the event to provide care as needed.

Temperatures reached the high forties at around 3:00 p.m. when students began jumping. By 4:48 p.m. the ice on Lake Andrews was too thin to safely sustain the weight of students and support staff, so Campus Security elected to end the event early. The event was scheduled to end at 5:00 p.m. 

For many Bates seniors, Puddle Jump is a mark of the end of college. Maya Castiblanco ‘23 said: “The last two years, I always hated the coldness of the puddle, but I’m honestly a little sad that I will never jump again.” She continued, “It’s such a fun way to relieve stress and hang out with friends. I’m going to miss this Bates tradition.”

Some students who were participating in the event for the first time shared similar sentiments: “It brought me closer to the Bates community,” said Trinity Poon ‘26. 

Sally Thornburg ’26 and Molly Allison ’26 pose for a quick post-plunge picture. (Hannah Kothari)

Other students participate in Puddle Jump more begrudgingly. Sophie Van Leeuwen ‘23 commented on her last Puddle Jump, saying, “Thank God I never have to jump in that frozen cesspool again.” 

After jumping in Lake Andrews, students were invited to hang out around a bonfire to warm up.