October 8, 2021 | LIFE | By Isabella Ingersoll
Space Camp! The name of Colorado College’s mixed ultimate frisbee club team is one you can’t help but yell out with a smile. CC students are blessed with a plethora of clubs at our fingertips. From poker to slacklining, every CC student is able to venture into something completely wacky or completely serious. But nothing encapsulates CC students’ peculiar and eccentric nature quite like Space Camp.
“Space camp is like, just raw energy,” Pardes Lyons-Warren ’22, one of the three Space Camp captains, said. The logo: a UFO picking up a cow. The dress code: the flairiest flair. The vibes: immaculate.
Space Camp team practices consist of weekly meetups on Yampa field, and the players’ tangible spirit is aided by music blaring on a boombox.
“The team was founded about six years ago,” Lyons-Warren said. While the origin of the name is a mystery, it’s telling of the team’s quirky nature. At the time of its founding, Space Camp consisted of just CC’s men’s and women’s ultimate teams, Wasabi and Zenith, respectively. The members of the teams wanted the chance to convene outside of their individual training sessions and toss a frisbee around. It became an official CC club sport soon after, and today it consists of students from every grade.
The Space Campers’ skill levels range from highly experienced USA Ultimate League Division I Zenith players and Division III Wasabi players, to students who simply want to exercise. Some team members had never touched a frisbee before joining.
At practices, the captains instruct basic ultimate skills and run drills to share their ultimate frisbee knowledge.
Despite heavy Wasabi and Zenith participation, “We want [Space Camp] to have its own identity and be its own program,” Lyons-Warren said.
Lyons-Warren thinks it’s special that the team isn’t simply a space for current members of the ultimate frisbee program, but also a welcoming entrance for many first years to CC.
“The team being mostly freshmen is so fun because they’re just coming in wanting to make friends,” Lyons-Warren said.
Space Camp’s beauty lies in its accessibility. Not only is it welcome to all levels of ultimate frisbee players, it’s a relaxed, low-commitment option for busy students.
With the lenient requirement of one practice a week for a two-block long season, players are able to add Space Camp to their already overflowing platter resulting from the Block Plan.
However, infrequency can lead to a weaker team community. In the past, Space Camp has attempted to preserve the team’s unity throughout the year by attempting to plan meet-ups after the season, but with the COVD-19 pandemic, that has been difficult.
Lyons-Warren remains optimistic about this year, given in-person school has resumed. “Hopefully we will retain people and have people staying for all four years and such instead of just popping in.”
Among all of its other identities, Space Camp is the gateway drug to further CC ultimate frisbee endeavors.
Izzy Roe ’25 was tossing around a frisbee with some friends on the quad in the beginning of the year, when “Pardes yelled at me during the first week and said ‘join frisbee,’ so I did.”
Roe fell in love with the sport, having previously never played on an official ultimate frisbee team before. The warm Space Camp environment prompted her to check out Zenith, and she quickly became a member.
“[Space Camp] gives me a nice reset for the week … It’s a time when I can just move around and not think about the other stuff I have to do,” Roe said.
Space Camp’s usual season in the USA Ultimate League was cut this year, but the anticipated culmination of the season, Fright Flight, is still happening. Fright Flight is an annual ultimate tournament that occurs in Boulder during the second block break, and it’s the highlight of the Space Camp experience.
Despite the season already being in full swing, Lyons-Warren and fellow captains invite “literally anyone” to join in on the fun. Practices are every Sunday on Yampa from 5-7p.m.