Looking Forward to Fall

The fall season is creeping in as Nichols students return to campus and classes. Although the end of summer can be bittersweet, there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months. Nearby towns host thriving fall festivals and fairs, and there’s always more to explore in central Mass.

Aug 20th – Nov

Fort Hill Farms Corn Maze Adventure: Located in Thompson, CT, Fort Hill Farms is a 15-minute drive from Nichols. Navigating through the corn maze can be a fun group activity. Friday and Saturday nights are flashlight nights where maze-goers can enter the labyrinth guided by flashlight. Fort Hill Farms also sells fresh made ice cream and other products. Admission to the maze is $12.

Sept 2nd – 5th

Woodstock Fair in Woodstock, CT: The Woodstock fair is a nearby favorite filled with food, rides, games, shopping, competitions, and entertainment. Open barns show off cows, chickens, and rabbits. Top country and pop artists headline this year’s fair. The entrance fee is $12 and the fair is about 15 minutes from the school.

Sept – Nov

Factory of Terror: This haunted house in Worcester, Ma is known as one of the scariest. Great makeup and effects paired with classic scares such as zombies, ghosts, and clowns makes for a thrilling experience. Tickets are $22 online.

Oct 1st

Dudley Grange Apple Festival: The Apple Festival is held right next to Nichols at the Dudley Grange. It may be a small event, but all of Dudley attends for the apple crisp. Apple crisp is $5 and the festival also offers other food, drink, and activities.

Oct 1st – 2nd

Wachusett Mountain BBQ Fest: Wachusett Mountain hosts a big weekend-long BBQ event featuring a variety of BBQ vendors, a traditional pig roast, pie eating contests, beer tent, and live entertainment. Tickets are $12 at the door. Travel time is about an hour.

Oct 14th – 16th

Rock and Shock 2016: This horror festival is in collaboration between the DCU Center and Worcester Palladium concert venue. Attendees can choose between buying tickets for the horror convention, the concert shows, or both. The convention features famous horror movie writers and producers, actors and actresses from favorite shows such as American Horror Story, costume contests, and much more.

Oct 22nd

Great Pumpkin Festival: Putnam is a busy little Connecticut town filled with small businesses selling food, artwork, and antiques. Every year there is a pumpkin festival featuring pumpkin carving contests, pie eating contests, scarecrow competitions, live music, and a petting zoo. It’s only a 15-minute ride from Nichols and there is no admission fee.

Last Minute Summer Activities


Although it’s time to readjust to college life and ease into new classes, summer isn’t over yet. Before fall creeps in, students can still explore some summer activities that the Dudley area has to offer. There’s still time to go swimming, eat seafood, and soak up the sun.

Memorial Beach, Webster MA: For the students who want to cram in one more beach day before summer comes to a close, Memorial Beach is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. It may not be on the ocean, but Memorial still has a good beach vibe and plenty of room for everyone to lay out in the sun. The walk-in fee is $1 and $5 per resident vehicle.

Dresser Hill Ice Cream: Enjoying some old-fashioned ice cream on a warm summer night is a must before the summer season runs out. Dresser Hill offers over 40 flavors of ice cream and some of the best seafood around. Cake batter, Wicked Chocolate, and Toasted Coconut are just a few of their unique flavors. This small town favorite is just a five-minute drive from school.

Ronnie’s Seafood: Ronnie’s serves up great seafood at their two locations in Charlton and Auburn. Locals will argue as to which location is better, but both offer the best popcorn shrimp and clam strips in the area. Lunch specials are from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., but always save room for their fresh ice cream. Both locations are about 20 minutes from Nichols.

Buffumville Lake: Buffumville Lake is a great summer day trip for a group of friends. Visitors can swim, use the park’s grills, hike trails, and enjoy the scenery. The lake offers volleyball, disc golf, and plenty more activities. Lake-goers are welcome to set up for the day and make use of the picnic areas available by the shore. The entry fee for one carload of people is $5 and walk-ins are $2. The lake is located ten minutes from Nichols.


Indian Princess Lake Tour: The Indian Princess is a large paddle wheel boat that cruises along the massive Webster Lake. Tours last up to 90 minutes and cost $20 per person. There are two sections of seating to accommodate 125 people. Patrons can relax and enjoy the lake view. There is also a bar available for those over 21.

Breezy Picnic Grounds Waterslides: Revisit childhood fun with a trip to the waterslides in Douglas, Ma. Waterslides rates are $15 per person from 3 p.m. to close, and the all-day rate is $20 per person. Breezy Picnic Grounds offers 3 slides, lake swimming, snack bar, and arcade. Check it out on a weekday when most children will be in school. It is located 25 minutes from the school.

Kayak Rentals: At Lakeview Marine, Inc., kayak rentals are $15 an hour or $32 for 3 hours. Tandem kayaks are also available to rent and are usually a cheaper option when the cost is split between two people. Lakeview Marine is located on Webster Lake so kayakers can get out to the water right away. Spending time kayaking is a great way to take advantage of the remaining summer days.


Elevator Speech Competition


On Thursday, March 31, Nichols College held it’s 4th Annual Elevator Speech Competition in Daniels Auditorium. A record breaking 25 students competed to win up to $1400 in cash awards donated by sponsors such as Robert Half Technology, Mohegan Sun, the Nichols College Fischer Institute, UniBank, Barnes and Noble, the O’Connell Family, and Marsh & McLennan Companies.

An elevator speech is a clever and concise sales pitch about yourself or a product that you would deliver to an employer or client during the duration of an elevator ride. In the business world, having an elevator speech planned and ready to go is as essential as having a business card readily available. With that being said, the participants brought a diverse collection of stories of activities, actions or events they’ve experienced that make them who they are today. From sick loved ones to vast aspirations, every participant had a unique story, and that’s what makes this event so remarkable.

The event was nerve wracking for the 25 participants. After every speech the audience awaited comments and feedback from the judges along with their scores. Each judge would hold up a number between 1-10 and then the numbers would be recorded and added up at the end to determine the winners. However, the competition towards the end went a little bit different than expected. There was only one participant who received a 10 from all four judges; that participant was Ariff McLaren­, class of 2019, who received the 1st place award. The award for 2nd place came to a tie between Jimmy Phillip, class of 2018, and Zachary Pina, class of 2019. In order to break the tie, each of them was asked the question, “Why is an elevator speech important?” and given one minute to come up with their answers. After the judges evaluated both candidates, they announced Jimmy Phillips as the 2nd place winner of $400 and Zachary Pina the 3rd place winner of $300.

Along with our first through third place winners, the judges announced Kaitlyn Baron, class of 2019, as the honorable mention and she received $100. The judges’ choice award went to TJ Roche, class of 2019, who also received $100.

A huge thank you to our judges President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Patrick Holland `88, Kim McCarthy `92, and Mackenzie Walsh `12 for participating in this event and giving the participants feedback that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community