Last weekend, Oklahoma Christian University social service club, Kappa Sigma Tau celebrated its 40th annual float trip in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Each year, the men of Kappa invite all Oklahoma Christian students to join them in making memories on a float down the Illinois River.
President of Kappa, Jared King said he would like to thank Vice President Alex Wiggs for all of his hard work on organizing this year’s Kappa Float.
“The vice president this year is in charge of float and that is a massive job, organizing an event for literally a hundred people that’s costing a lot of money,” King said. “Just a shout-out to him and the vice presidents in the past, cause it’s a big deal.”
King said he was proud of his club for keeping a 40-year tradition alive, while also using the trip as an opportunity to bond with potential Kappa members.
“Recently, a member talked to an alumni who had another alumni connection and there’s been this myth, that Kappa float is what essentially started Kappa,” King said. “The float is where the club came to be and I would love to find out more about that. Hopefully, maybe with this article out there, alumni will see and help us figure something out more specifically.”
Kappa alumnus Ben Meaders said he still treasures his memories made during his time in club and served as a sponsor on this year’s trip as a way to make more.
“There was a point in time when a third of the campus would pack up and go to the float,” Meaders said. “It’s pretty simple; you go out, hang out the night before and get up to float the river all day. Well, some people will float the river while others go from raft to raft trying to steal paddles. It’s a rush event for guys who want to get into the club, but I tell the guys that even if you want to rush Chi, Delta, Psi or Alpha, it doesn’t matter. A lot of rush events tend to be awkward, but at float, you’re there with your friends hanging out and having fun at an event. It’s very, very Kappa.”
Senior Allison Robinett attended the float trip for a second time this year, and said Kappa Float is an unique experience.
“I went my sophomore year and didn’t think it would be as fun as it is, but a lot of people seemed interested in it, so I thought I would give it a shot,” Robinett said. “It’s not what you expect, because normally when you go on float trips, it’s just floating down the river peacefully. Kappa guys, they do this thing where they steal paddles and have a competition on who could get the most. They have this giant mega boat, that’s stacked with three or four boats together and it sails down the river trying to attack other boats and grab people out. It gets crazy.”
In addition to the float portion of the trip, Meaders said the weekend getaway included a cookout and Kudo-approved devotional.
“The night before, you grill out,” Meaders said. “Whenever I was in Kappa, people would donate their Caf swipes and the Caf would provide barbeque for us to grill. After that, we would do a devotional. Out in the wilderness, not really anything around, your phone’s not working and you can focus, be with people and just worship. It’s not something you normally do. My wife and I really look forward to it. It might have been the best worship services I attended last year.”
With yet another year of float in the books, King said that keeping the tradition alive is a way to connect the current students of Oklahoma Christian with those of previous years.
“I feel like everyone has their own float memories,” King said. “It’s the way you have your own club stories, but everyone tends to have their own story. I think that’s a really cool thing that there’s a shared experience over the almost 50 years of history, and while clubs have certain characteristics that stick around, a lot of traditions tend to get lost over time and new ones form. It’s cool that the people of 1969 also have in common with the people of 2017.”