By: Penn State Lion Scouts
As Penn State Lion Scouts, we have a great time walking backwards around campus and talking about how much we love our school. Along the way, we run into some pretty interesting situations. Here are a few of our favorite stories from our tours.
1. The Surprise in the Freezer: As tour guides, we love to talk about the Berkey Creamery and one of our favorite facts is that Bill Clinton is the only person to have ever mixed flavors. When I was a freshman, my architecture professor found out I was a tour guide and we got to talking about Penn State facts. My professor knew the Bill Clinton story because he was walking by the Creamery – then located in the Borland Building – when Clinton was visiting. My professor noticed a large crowd and, when he got closer, saw President Bill Clinton eating his now-infamous ice cream cone. President Clinton got halfway done with the cone and couldn’t finish it so he threw the last bit in the trash can before leaving. My professor saw this and once everyone had left, he walked over to the trash can and pulled out the rest of President Clinton’s ice cream cone. He brought it home and put it in his freezer. It wasn’t until later that he found out how famous that cone was and decided to keep it forever. The cone allegedly still sits in his freezer today.
2. Tour Under Fire: One day, I was touring a group past the Sparks Building when classes changed. On a normal day, this can be a little stressful because suddenly people are everywhere and it’s easy to lose your group. However, this wasn’t a normal day; it was urban gaming day. Over 100 students armed with marshmallow guns raced out of Sparks yelling, “Civilians!” My tour group got caught in the crossfire. I ended up having to explain urban gaming to a bunch of confused high-schoolers and their parents.
3. Cultural Connections: Our tour groups are usually high school students and their families, but every once in a while we get a different type of group. One day, I came to the admissions building expecting a regular tour and ended up touring about 30 Chinese guidance counselors, none of whom spoke English. I had an interpreter, which was pretty cool, but it was definitely one of the most challenging tours I’ve ever had to give.
4. Frenemies: We often get high school friends who want to go on a tour together. At the end of a tour one day, I was talking to a high school student and his mom while the other tour guide talked to the kid’s friend and his parents. The family I was talking to was super nice; the mom was really excited that the boys wanted to go to college together and she couldn’t wait for them to be roommates. We all finished up our conversations and I walked off with the other tour guide. After talking to the other guide, I found out that the other family had been telling him that they absolutely did not want the boys to go to the same school, much less live together! Sometimes I wonder where they both ended up, and if they’re still friends.
5. The Awkward Years: Middle school is an interesting time in life, and tours with middle-schoolers on them are always a treat. Once, I gave a tour to a middle school group that was learning about college and I had a boy who, throughout the entire tour, found several different ways to ask me if there was any way he would get roomed with a girl. I finally had to stop the tour and explain to him that it was definitely not going to happen. The tour got even weirder at the end. When I asked if anyone had any questions, the kids all started to whisper and one girl finally stepped forward. She looked at the ring on my finger and asked if I was engaged. Apparently the kids hadn’t been paying attention for the tour and had just been speculating about whether I was married or not. I had to explain to them which finger a wedding ring goes on.
Do you want to have some of your own crazy tour stories to share? Apply to Penn State Lion Scouts today! Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, September 16. Walk backwards with us!