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Siblings join in this year's treasure hunt-themed Siblings Weekend

Siblings take part in a free climb at CMU’s Adventure Center Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

With music playing loudly and pirate-themed decorations hung, Central Michigan University kickstarted their “Treasure Hunt”-themed Siblings Weekend Friday, Jan. 31. 

Students and siblings appeared excited for the weekend as they danced in line waiting to receive balloon animals and take their pictures at the photo booth. 

The weekend was packed with events for students and siblings to participate in, such as a discovery museum, game night and open climb. 

As students filed into Finch Fieldhouse, room 112, they were given a helmet and a harness for rock climbing. Students cheered on their siblings as they raced to ring the bells signaling they made it to the top. 

For some siblings, rock climbing was a competition. Ubly sophomore Haili Gusa and brother Utah, 14, competed in three rounds to see who would win. 

“Rock climbing was really awesome," Utah said. "Me and Haili raced, and I won every time, except the last one was technically a draw since we both fell.” 

Utah claimed he was the “champion”, but the competition wasn’t over. The two planned to compete more, since Haili was “close” to beating Utah for two of the rounds. 

Students and siblings were also able to join in on canvas and pottery painting. 

For pottery painting, individuals could pick to paint a tile, sloth or llama. Among the painters working on their tiles were Rochester sophomore Meghan Welker and sister Alyssa, 13. 

For Meghan, one of the most exciting parts of the weekend was sharing the college experience with Alyssa. 

“I’m really excited to be able to share the community here with my sister," she said. "Being involved in the Central community (and) being involved in my residence hall, it means a lot to be able to share it with her." 

This even includes Robinson Residential Restaurant’s cafeteria food. 

“Later on in the day we are having lunch in the cafeteria because Alyssa really needs to... understand the Robinson cafeteria food that I eat every day,” Meghan said. 

Not far from pottery painting was the canvas painting class led by Deborah Clark. Clark took students through each step of the painting, which depicted an octopus on top of a treasure chest. 

“I love doing these events because in some cases it’s the first time people have done one of these painting classes like this, where we paint along together," Clark said. "I think it’s one of those things where it’s super fun for all ages.” 

As Saturday morning began, students and siblings waited for pancakes to be thrown onto their plates in Finch Fieldhouse. 

Chelsea graduate student Shianne Butler and sister Brooklyn Nichols, 14, have been attending Siblings Weekend for the past five years, but this was the first year the two were both able to catch their pancakes on their first try. 

Shianne and Brooklyn enjoyed their time together and the traditions that Sibling Weekend continues to offer. 

“I really do like a lot of the things, like the pancake breakfast has always been the same, the slumber party movie has always been the same," Shianne said. "It’s nice to have the same things to look forward to."

The weekend can mean more to some siblings than just a fun getaway, said Norway sophomore and Siblings Weekend registration coordinator Brett Houle. 

“By getting such a wide range of people, we are exposing more people to CMU, so they’re able to see the campus at a young and impressionable age,” Houle said. “That makes a big difference when they’re in their senior year maybe looking for a college. They’re going to remember these events.”

Ravenna sophomore Skyler Conran's sister, Savannah, 15, has started to think about attending Central Michigan when she graduates high school. 

By observing Skyler, Savannah has started to notice what Central has to offer. 

“I like all the different things you can get involved into, which they kind of have at every college, but just the stuff I have seen from my sister,” Savannah said. “She really has another family here, and I just think that’s really cool.”

The tradition of Siblings Weekend is different for everyone. Valparaiso junior Yvon Bergner was met with sisters Aanzhnii Trejo, 5, Miakoda Trejo, 7, his mother and his stepfather. 

This was the first time the family could see what Bergner has been accomplishing at CMU. For Bergner, seeing his family on campus holds a special meaning for him. 

“I would say it feels like my worlds are mixing in such a good way,” Bergner said. “My family hasn’t been seeing what I have been doing here because coming from a first generation background, and low income too, for them to take this trip means a lot because it’s not something that I see a lot.”