While the Mines campus is usually crowded with people between the ages of 17 and 25, some special guests changed this ratio for at least one sunny afternoon last month. The Absolutely Incredible Kid Day (AIKD) Carnival, complete with balloons, marshmallow towers, and even a bouncy castle, took place on Kafadar on Saturday, March 21st.
Organized by the Mu Pi chapter of the national coed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO), the event was an excellent opportunity for families from the Golden area to connect with Mines students and ultimately celebrate the special children in their lives.
Absolutely Incredible Kid Day is actually a nationwide letter-writing initiative created by Camp Fire, a national organization devoted to promoting outdoor activities for youth. The idea is that because many kids are not given words of encouragement on a regular basis, parents, guardians, and educators can improve children’s self-confidence by writing them uplifting letters that let them know that they are capable, unique, and appreciated.
Mines’ event attendees were provided with Camp Fire letterhead and a few examples of letters. However, the afternoon included much more than just letter writing.
“We developed a carnival-type atmosphere designed on AIKD’s principles of making kids feel loved and important,” explained Parker Prescott, a member of APO and one of the two event-coordinators. “This made for an enjoyable day where kids could run around and participate in fun activities while we encouraged the parents to write letters to them.”
The carnival included a Nerf gun shooting range, macaroni art, balloon animals, potato sack races, and even a Mentos and Coke demonstration. While APO has facilitated this event for the past five years, this year’s carnival included booth participation from over twenty other campus clubs and organizations! Additionally, the carnival partnered with Great American Bake Sale to raise money for the community.
“This program is important to children because a simple note or act of kindness can really change a kid’s world, especially at such a young age,” said Parker.
Advertised at forty-five elementary schools, eleven churches, six daycares, and several local businesses, the carnival was attended by approximately 300 children. Nationally, the AIKD event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and Mines hopes to continue supporting the Golden community with this unique carnival in years to come.
“I would really just like to thank all of the student organizations that made the day so absolutely incredible!” added Parker. In a world that places such high expectations on children, he believes that AIKD is especially relevant because it encourages kids to excel in whatever makes them happy instead of what society wants them to be.
“As for Mines and the Golden community, these kids are our future. The lives of these children can really be affected by the love and kindness that a community can show them.”