By Savannah Hoag (’19)
This article originally appeared in Around the Oval magazine.
It’s not the most glamorous job on campus, but it certainly gets right to the heart of what it means to be a Colorado State University Ram – the life of a Ram Handler.
Ram Handlers are the students who care for our beloved four-legged CAM the Ram mascot – not only on football game days, CSU sponsored events, and every other time he makes a public appearance – but day in and day out, doing the dirty work as well.
Each Ram Handler does their part through what they call “CAM care.” Among the CAM care responsibilities are giving him food and water each morning and night, cleaning out his pen, and working with him to prevent boredom.
“Prior to an event, CAM must be given a bath and shorn to ensure he looks as pristine as possible,” explained Clarissa Carver, a senior Equine and Animal Science major and fourth-year Ram Handler. “In the warmer parts of the year, we often shear Cam frequently to keep him cool and clean. During the winter months, we will shear his head and neck, but leave them longer, and we often leave the parts that won’t be under the blanket unsheared so that he can keep himself warm.”
In addition to all of their CAM care responsibilities, Ram Handlers are photo experts, always ready to snap the shot of you and CAM, as well as track stars, running our Ram through the end zone after every home team touchdown, which has almost ended in disaster more than once.
“CAM has learned to associate the cannon with running and will sometimes get amped up when he hears the boom,” Carver said. “The hardest part about running after touchdowns is when the referees don’t realize he is running in the end zone and step out in front of you. There have been several times where CAM or a Handler has almost taken a referee out accidentally.”
Before the Ram Handler group was officially established, members of the Farmhouse Fraternity managed CAM at every event. But “Ram Handlers” under any title, have always been ambassadors of the University, and they remain committed to keeping the legacy of CAM for years to come.
“Every student on the Ram Handling team is a volunteer, and many of us put in more than 50 hours a semester on top of our class and work schedules to ensure that the tradition of CAM lives on,” Carver said.