How Sweet It Is
Campus volunteers assemble s’mores kits by the thousands for inauguration party
Sticky. Crumb-covered. Chocolaty. Powdered sugar–dusted. There were many adjectives that could be used to describe the lower level of the Smith College Conference Center this week, but they all added up to one thing: a joyful mess.
That’s what you get when you take thousands of marshmallows—dulce de leche, toasty vanilla, and cinnamon sugar—and add graham crackers and chocolate bars to create some 6,000 s’mores kits, give or take a few bites.
Assembling all of these delights was a room full of helpers who pitched in to put together everything needed for a tasty inauguration event. Soft music, what Associate Director of Events Management Jessica Masiero called “yacht rock from the ’70s and ’80s,” played from a small stereo as crackers crunched, chocolate bars snapped, and marshmallows were pulled from gooey stacks.
“Cinnamon toast crunch in a marshmallow—it’s delicious,” said Andrea Fernandes, director of events management, pausing to try one of the flavors. “As my kid would say, ‘There’s a party in my mouth.’”
When did Fernandes decide to make the assembly of the s’mores kits a group effort? “I think we decided after we realized the magnitude of marshmallows we had ordered that we were in over our head,” she said with a laugh, “and needed elves to make marshmallow kits for us.”
A brainchild of the inauguration steering committee, “S’mores with Sarah” was created to coincide with the Friday-evening dance party on Chapin lawn. While the college has held events featuring s’mores in the past, none of them have been quite this large, although Fernandes noted that s’mores events are always “a big hit.”
Events staff calculated that each of the estimated 3,000 inaugural attendees might want at least two s’mores. So, in anticipation, Fernandes ordered 6,000 marshmallows from The Vermont Marshmallow Co., whose founder and owner is Alexx Shuman ’12.
To assemble the kits, events staff called on volunteers from across campus. For three days, staff and students gathered around tables piled high with bags and treats. Over the course of the weekend, similar groups of volunteers will deploy across campus to distribute such items as event programs and water bottles.
At the s’mores party, the reward for volunteering was sweet: an opportunity to try one of the delicious marshmallow flavors ahead of time. Fernandes also had a plan for the post-party cleanup: “If we have extra, then we get to have another s’mores event and have a party!”