Posted on February 12, 2010 by Tia Lalani

Student princess Chantelle Olson visits the fairy-tale world of the Rocky Road Ice Cream Festival.

By Chantelle Olson –

Terrifying dragons, beautiful princesses, knights in shining armour and fierce monsters ran wild in Augustana’s gym on Sunday. Far from being dangerous, however, it was all part of a plot to lure the unsuspecting public into eating gallons of ice cream in the dead of winter. Over 400 people enjoyed the 18th Annual Rocky Road Ice Cream Festival on Sunday: it was a brilliant success.

Every year, Augustana Residence Services puts on the Festival as a volunteer opportunity and a chance for students living on campus to give back to the Camrose community. The Residence Assistants plan, staff and organize the event itself, and student volunteers are recruited.

This year was defined by a fairy-tale theme. In addition to all-you-can-eat ice cream in flavours like bubble gum, cookies ‘n’ cream and classic chocolate, kids of all ages could build their own shields, practice jousting, tackle the Augustana climbing wall or mess around in magic mud. Face painting was hugely popular, as was the opportunity to have their picture taken as Aladdin or Jasmine.

Those who came to engage in these exciting activities paid a nominal fee of $3 per person and a food donation to the Camrose Food Bank. All the proceeds from the entrance fee went to benefit Brigantia Place, the local women’s shelter. Rob Ford, Residence Director, is very excited about the involvement of Brigantia volunteers in setting up and running this year’s Rocky Road, and even more thrilled to be able to give Brigantia a cheque for $1000 this year. In order to make such a benefit possible, Residence Services ends up underwriting much of the cost of putting on the event. However, this year all the money for the ice cream came from local businesses eager to help.

While excited about the community impact of this year’s event, Ford is extremely proud of the work done by Residence Staff. “These are full-time students,” he says, “doing what is at times a very tough job, and they pulled through in a big way this year.”

Ford sees Rocky Road as a snapshot of the positive impact Augustana students have on the Camrose community. An event like this gives the community an opportunity to see what kind of people are studying at their university.

“Several parents commented how kind the students were with the kids,” Ford recollected. “It’s a good PR opportunity, a chance for the students to give back to the community in a tangible way.” And perhaps, a chance to make friends with a small dragon.

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