Category: Uncategorized

Not Just Another Game of Ping Pong

Most of us were introduced to this sport in someone’s garage, and while a few may have gotten good at it, it just remains a fun way to pass 30 or so minutes.  Make no mistake, table tennis is an international sport and attracts some amazing athletes.

Jordan Familant and Jared Miller, winners of the recent CRS tournament, enjoyed the privilege of playing a challenge for fun matchup with President Hsu and his wife, Dr. Chen.  The special event took place in the Silcox Gym on the Tuesday before everyone dashed off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The entire campus knows of the president’s penchant for this sport and a number of you no doubt wondered just how good is he.

I’ll let you decide, though he will humbly tell you that he is not the best in the family!

President Hsu punctuates this point with a smash.
Sign of the times? Empty gym and players wearing masks.

An offshoot from this event is that Jordan Familant is interested in starting a table tennis club.  Keep in mind that the tables are set up in the gym for drop-in play with paddles and balls available too.  Make a trip to the Johnson and Silcox Gyms for a little fun.  You never know when President Hsu may stop in again for a quick game.

Silcox Gym Still Standing Strong

Merely getting older is not reason enough to take notice.  Look around, we live in a town full of old things.  This example is different.

We’ve all seen the quick-change costume act at the circus where the performer rapidly switches outfits in the blink of an eye.  The Silcox Gym too is similar.  Over the course of its 80 plus years it has served numerous events and purposes from a platform for presidential candidates, athletic center, a lunchtime cafe, location for intramural sports, department offices for physical education and classes, and holiday parties just to name a few.

It is coming up on the 25th anniversary of its last renovation, having reopened on November 29, 1995.  The change from the last fix-up was remarkable though the envelope of the building was untouched.  Unbelievably another renovation is already on the schedule.  And so the quick change act continues though in our parts we move a little slower.

While the focus of this is on the building, it is appropriate to point out that without persons of vision, strength of character, and the discipline to see it through, this building would be little more than a hollow shell.  Tied to this venerable gymnasium are quite a few individuals who stamped their contributions to the College, the community, and in some cases beyond.  Surprisingly quick were their long tenures: Willard A. Silcox, Anthony Meyer, Andrew Lewis, Tom Langley, Joan Cronan, Nancy Wilson, and Scooter Barnette.

The black and white photos were provided by the Special Collections unit of the College of Charleston Library.   A lot of dreams germinated in this building, and with any luck, that role will continue even if sporting a new outfit.

The facade is the same but the oak tree and fence have disappeared.
The gym was built to serve as an auditorium as well.
Yes, tennis courts where the TD Arena now sits.
Cornerstone being laid back in 1938.
Lobby entry from George Street.
Information plate detailing the building of the gym.
Information plate detailing the opening of the student activities building.
Facade of the Silcox Gym 2020.
Facade of the Silcox Gym 2020.
Panorama shot of the gym on the 2nd floor.
Panorama shot of the gym on the 2nd floor of Silcox 2020.
Lobby of the Silcox Gym 2020.
Lobby of the Silcox Gym 2020.

A Little Friday Afternoon Yoga With President Hsu

Who knew yoga could be so fun!  Well that is the assessment by 30 or so persons that joined in for a yoga session presented by CRS on behalf of President Hsu.  Who can argue that the location at the Cistern with the shadows starting to fall from the large oaks, the perfect crispness of fall weather, and one standout yoga instructor all combined to make a special event for those in attendance.

Many participants joined Hsu’s Crew with a commemorative t-shirt and a special pose  dedicated to President Hsu to wrap up the session.  Hope you get a chance to attend another one before the Thanksgiving break.

Student participating in Friday yoga at the Cistern.
A few more photos of the event can be found at:


Two New Programs to Lure You Out of Your Room

Parents have expressed concern to us that their youngsters are now spending far too  much time in their rooms.  Well now is the time to try out some new things that may lead to new hobbies.  Consider giving one of them a try.

Fishing Fridays

Check out the video produced by our own assistant director of Campus Recreation Services, Freddie Lipata.  Freddie, an avid fisherman, saw how this unique sport could address some of our present stressors.  Better yet is the noble feeling one gets when introducing others to a new sport.  Equipment and bait is provided!

Pandemic Pandemonium

Here is a unique geocaching game developed by CRS Director Gene Sessoms.  So many of us have not really explored downtown.  Instead we just zoom by in our car or bike.  The game will appeal to those who like to explore cool sites, enjoy a long walk, examine local history, and those who just love a challenge.  This is one of those activities that is perfect to do with a friend or shift it around and compete against members of your club.

REC-Creation: A CRS DIY Blog Post–Slip and Slide

This summer, people found themselves at home more with the pandemic and just like everybody else, I was constantly trying to find ways to entertain myself and my nephews while social distancing. One rainy day, I remembered how my sisters and I used to play in the rain when we were kids in the Philippines and wanted my nephew to experience the same happy feelings that come with running around in the rain with no care in the world. There was a big difference though–we have a plain yard here vs having a lot of trees and structures to run around where we lived back then so it made it more fun. I remembered having some tarps in the backyard and even though soap was a pretty valuable commodity at the time, I decided to sacrifice a bottle for the sake of having a good time. We laid out the tarps on the ground, drizzled some soap all over the surface, and let the sliding commence. For hours until the rain stopped, we slipped, we slid, and laughed calories away–the fun way. It’s become a regular activity for my nephew and me during this crazy time and these days, it has been good to have something else to look forward to, other than the CoVid vaccine. With all the rain that Charleston has been getting the past few weeks, I hope you get a chance to let yourself slip and slide…all the way into the new school year. Good luck with the upcoming Fall semester, Cougars!


You’ll need a tarp, at least 20ft., but we recommend longer if you can get your hands on some. The cheapest we’ve found them were for $5 at Harbor Freight or there’s a selection of them at Walmart or for $5-$10. For the one you see in the video, my nephew and I used two 8×10 tarps I had from Walmart. Each was around $4 in the camping section and can be reused for other activities such as camping and trips to the beach.

The first time we did the slip and slide, I just used dish soap that we already had in the house, but I found out that the best soap to use is the tear free soap meant for babies. I found a big jug for $4 at Walmart. The only downside of the soap that we used for the video below was that it was meant for night time so the scent made us sleepy after we got done. It made nap time for the little guy come sooner than planned.


Make sure to slide part of the tarps that you add at the end of each one under the previous tarp so that it makes transitions from one section to another a lot smoother. If you have some stakes available, we actually took advantage of the grommets that were already on the tarps to stake them down so that they stay flat and in place.

Activity is best done when it is raining so that you don’t run your water bill up. 🙂

National Disc Golf Day

Oh boy!  I missed it again.  The first Saturday in August is designated by the Professional Disc Golf Association as National Disc Golf Day .  Looks like you missed it too.

Well the good news is it is not too late to get a round in this week, and best of all it is one of those sports that can be played with little modification during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Not familiar with the sport.  This really is a great time to introduce a new sporting interest to your repertoire and it is one that qualifies as a lifetime sport.  The health benefits of playing a round or two are incredible.  Start with being outdoors, usually in a scenic setting while walking some distance, enjoying the social aspect since most like to play with a partner, improving one’s hand-eye coordination, and yes re-energizing your emotional state through the fun and relaxation the sport provides.

Go PDGA for an introduction to the sport and to find the nearest courses, latest rules, and anything else disc golf related.  Charleston has several courses and one may be near you.  Most cost nothing to play, and that as we say, “can’t be beat!”

Remember disc golf shouldn’t be relegated to just this one day a year.

Sport Clubs — Travel Destinations for 2019-2020

Having been stuck at home now for over two months gives us a chance to reminisce about earlier fun and lots of it.  Our club teams made a total of 108 trips away from campus during August to mid-March.  Including mileage for travel to local practice facilities, these clubs racked up 134,844 miles on the various vehicles used.  Quite the accomplishment, don’t you think!

To gain an even greater appreciation for the number of trips and distances, zoom in on the map.  Several of the locations may have just one marker posted but several trips were made there.  North Carolina State University was the single most visited location with 6 separate trips heading there.

The High Tech Scavenger Hunt

Geocaching in its simplest sense is a high tech scavenger hunt.  Persons receive clues as to where to hunt for a hidden geocache.  The geocache is usually a container that varies in size from a tiny thing the size of a quarter to that of an ammo box.  In the cache there will be a log book to record you finding the location and many times other things are in the container.  Some are called trackables meaning they are then placed in another geocache elsewhere and the movement of the trackable is tracked.  Some have made their way around the world.  A greater wealth of information on geocaching, how to get started, and where to look for geocaches in your area can all be found at  Here is a one minute video describing how to join in the fun, “What is Geocaching“.

While virtual geocaching has existed for some time, Campus Recreation Services is putting its own spin to this form of the hunt.

Geocache example
Example of a geocache. These containers come in all different sizes.

Since you cannot physically visit the locations and find a cache similar to the one pictured, why not use your computer to run down the clues and find the location.  To prove you landed there, answer the question or two designed to show you actually found it.  In this way, there isn’t any reason we can’t hide virtual caches around the country.  You may find this journey takes you places you always wanted to visit or never new existed.  Either way it should be fun.

Virtual Geocache — Practice Round

Let’s start with an easy one to get our bearings.  Each cache will have a name, map coordinates, a clue or two to help direct you, some hints to help if you get off-track, and of course the one or two questions used to prove you found the spot.

Do read the specific how-to instructions that follow this first geocache before you dash out to find this cache.  Avoiding unnecessary frustration can only help enhance the experience.

“Anybody Got the Time?”
Love him or hate him he resides in one of the most well-known residences in this country.

The map coordinates are 38.897872   -77.036536.  If you walk south of his temporary home, the real prize will appear.  It is one of the largest sundials in the world.

Once you find this location, zoom in and see if you can answer this question.  In terms of the distance separating the two dark concentric circles that encircle this timepiece, how many paver blocks are needed to span that distance?

Need a second hint?
For those completely lost, this additional hint should clear the confusion.  The father of our country had this stone structure erected for him.  If you still can’t find me, then this is sure to put you on the mark, 38.8896751   -77.0355252.

Virtual Geocaching Specific How-to Instructions
First let’s see how to get started on our search.

1.  Start with Google Maps and punch in the map coordinates you are given.  Turn to the satellite imagery.  There is a block on the bottom left of the screen that you can click to rotate through the map and satellite views.

2.  Zoom in and out to get a quick lay of the land.  Once you are comfortable with the layout of the general area, go to the Google Maps street view.  Without using street view you will likely not find the specifics you are searching.

3.  To access the street view, find the little yellow figure, known as the Pegman, at the bottom right corner of your map page.  Click on him, drag him close to where you wish to start.  Using the mouse buttons you can explore the area at street level and get up close to things of interest.

4.  When in street view, there is a map view in the lower left corner that shows blue lines and blue circles.  Along the lines you can move back and forth.  The blue circles are static locations that permit a 360 degree view of that location.

5.  You exit street view by clicking on the arrow in the street view box located at the top left of the browser screen.

6.  It may be that a quick read of this page will help:

How to Use Google Street View: 11 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow
How to Use Google Street View.  Have you ever seen one of the Google Street View cars driving around your neighborhood? They have a large, ball-shaped camera attached to the roof, which allows them to take a continuous stream of 360° … 

Happy hunting!  New virtual geocaches will be posted here.  Hope you will check back on occasion.  By all means drop me an email if any questions come up.

These first two virtual geocaches come courtesy of two students at the College and these are great places to visit in person if you get the chance.  In the meanwhile let’s try visiting through this virtual format.

Virtual Geocache #1
“Your Big Green Monster Doesn’t Scare Me” — location submitted by Shea Santor
The map coordinates will drop you off at Gate D to buy your tickets to this much sought after venue,  42.3455796  -71.0982331.

Walk along the perimeter as you search for a large sign in the shape of a downward pointing arrow.  Enter that location and look around.

Questions for Proof
1.  On the pennant hanging from the wall, what year is listed for their world championship?
2.  What is the headline of the framed newspaper displayed on the wall?

Additional Hints
The location housing these two items is a family-friendly area where persons can enjoy food and beverages on game day.  The items to be found are in the general area nearest the ladies room.

Still More Hints
The location is the Bleacher Bar, 42.3471782  -71.0967892.

Virtual Geocache #2
“It’s the Real Thing” — location submitted by Alexis Jimenez

Standing before you is Pemberton Place, 33.7624949,-84.3935102, a super frequented spot in this major metropolis.  We have something special in mind for you.  We have been told through the years that “It’s the Real Thing” and “Things Go Better With ____”.

Questions for Proof
Time for us to visit the land of Coke.  Find the entry and let’s explore.

1.  When you find the waiting area for the theatre known as the Loft there are many displays of Coke through the years.  Find the display that has a famous actress on it who was featured in a CBS-TV special on April 26.  Her first name is listed.  What is it?  Granted this is from years ago but hopefully her name hasn’t faded completely.

2.  Next find your way to the Vault where the secrets to Coke are kept.  Find the answer to this question among the displays in the vault.  “Like an alchemist of old, Pemberton used what item to mix the first batches of Coca-Cola syrup in a cast iron kettle?”

Enjoy the rest of your visit.

Additional Hints
The World of Coke is quite large.  When in street view enlarge the Pegman’s screen on the lower left and a number of other blue lines and circles will emerge.  Take your time, there is plenty to explore.

Virtual Geocache #3
“Where the Pros Play”

Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes made us laugh in this movie about basketball and the street hustle that takes place along these well-known beachfront courts.  Take a walk along Ocean Front Walk to see if you can find those famous basketball courts where the pros play.  Start at this end of the strip, 33.984252  -118.4714052.  Walk to the northwest keeping the water to your left.  As you pass the numerous businesses that line the cramped corridor, you can almost smell the usual beach fare — funnel cakes, hot dogs, churros, etc.

Questions for Proof
You will first pass the Muscle Beach workout area.  Just past that you should find the Venice Beach Athletic Center building.  Here sit several basketball courts with low rise bleachers.  On the building is a red sign that states what hours the park is closed.  What are those hours?

Additional Hints
The athletic center building street number is 1800.   The map coordinates are 33.985736  -118.472750.

This virtual geocache series was created by:

Gene Sessoms
College of Charleston | Campus Recreation Services
207 Silcox Gymnasium | 24 George Street | Charleston, SC  29424 | 843.953.8257