Next weekend, May 11 and 12, one of the oldest outdoor traditions at the University of Washington will be taking place down at Pack Forest. Hosted by the UW Forest Club—the longest-running club on campus—“Garb Day” is a throwback to the early days of the university, when folks tended to show up dressed more professionally for school. On this day, though, students and faculty had a chance to dress in more informal “garb” while relaxing together and playing field games and logging sports.
The days of formal clothes on campus have largely passed, and logging sports have become a little too much of a liability, but the annual Garb Day tradition lives on!
So what’s on tap for the celebration this year?
The Forest Club is arranging vans to depart from the C10 parking lot at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 11. (If you want to be part of this caravan, you have to let them know no later than the end of day tomorrow, May 3!) Events are expected to kick off at Pack Forest between 10 a.m. and noon, and they’ll last all day and overnight. There will be live music, a salmon feast with hamburgers and veggie burgers and other treats, fun field games—like tug-of-war, scavenger hunts and three-legged races—and prizes to give away. You’ll need to bring your own tent to camp, though a few beds will be available in cabins on a first-come, first-served basis for $7 per person; you’ll need your own linens.
Most activities will take place on Saturday, says Kaitlyn Schwindt, a senior ESRM major and president of the Forest Club, and participants should expect to get home on Sunday by noon or 1 p.m.—in plenty of time for Mother’s Day festivities.
This year, the Forest Club cut and sold more than 300 Christmas trees to help fund the Garb Day celebration for their fellow colleagues, staff and friends. A group of about a dozen Forest Club members also went down to Pack Forest during Spring Break—helping with the annual spring planting and chopping wood—to earn a discount for renting the facility for Garb Day. So come down for the Garb Day fun and reward their efforts and preparation!
Tickets are $25 (you can pay when you get there, so it’s never too late to decide to join), and the Forest Club is offering half off for faculty and staff! You can pick up your tickets from Amanda Davis in the Advising Office in Anderson Hall. Your ticket covers the cost of all food, games and transportation, but remember if you want a spot in a van on the way down, you have to send them an email by this Friday, May 3!
If you’re driving separately, the best route to Pack Forest from Seattle is to take I-5 south to Tacoma, then take exit 127 for WA-512 E toward Puyallup. Turn left onto 512. Stay in the far righthand lane as you will take the Steele Street exit (which is about 0.2 miles down 512). Turn left at Steele Street South. Continue straight through intersections as the road changes from Steele Street into 116th Street, and finally into the Spanaway Loop Road that will bring you to WA-7 S (after a long sweeping turn through a light where the Cross Base Highway will eventually be constructed). Turn right onto Rt. 7 and travel about 20 miles to the entrance of Pack Forest, which will be on your left. Driving time—off-peak hours—is about 1.75 hours.