The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Celebrating CAM: The Ramimal ambassador of CSU

CAM+the+Ram+poses+for+a+picture+with+a+student+on+the+Lory+Student+Center+West+Lawn+Feb.+17.+CAM+made+an+appearance+on+campus+in+celebration+of+his+recent+birthday%2C+Feb.+6%2C+which+marks+the+day+Colorado+State+University+officially+adopted+a+Rambouillet+sheep+as+its+animal+mascot.

Collegian | Serena Bettis

CAM the Ram poses for a picture with a student on the Lory Student Center West Lawn Feb. 17. CAM made an appearance on campus in celebration of his recent birthday, Feb. 6, which marks the day Colorado State University officially adopted a Rambouillet sheep as its animal mascot.

Barnaby Atwood, Staff Reporter

There is, in fact, a real-life CAM the Ram, and he’s not just a logo or a costume. Feb. 6 marked 69 years since CAM’s official adoption as Colorado State University’s mascot.

While there has been a real-life ram making appearances at CSU games since 1946, it wasn’t until 1954 that CSU officially adopted CAM the Ram as its mascot. Since then, CAM has been a staple at CSU, with over 25 real-life rams representing him throughout the years.

Ad

In turn, there have been lots of Ram Handlers at his side, all dedicated to taking care of him through general care, escorting him and training him. CAM has been known to be very connected to his handlers and will come out to say “hi” after hearing some of his caretakers’ voices.

Aspen Flores

“I feel like getting that bond with him just is a good support for me to have,” handler Annie Sima said. “Living at college, I don’t have my pets, and I really like animals. And I think just it’s a great break to go and bond with him, whether it’s on a walk or just training with him.”

“I would say CAM kind of represents the Colorado ideals. He loves to be outdoors, he loves to make friends, he loves to chill. Every once in a while, you’ll catch him climbing.” –Genevieve Bock, captain of the Ram Handlers team

The name CAM is an acronym from when CSU was called the Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The real-life version of CAM isn’t technically the mascot but instead the official animal ambassador of CSU. The reason for the separate name is to emphasize CAM’s autonomy.

“We use positive reinforcement, which just means CAM decides what he wants to do, and we’re not going to force him to do anything that he doesn’t want to do,” Sima said. “You can definitely tell when he’s stressed out, especially in events, because he’ll start shaking his head a little bit, and that’s kind of our cue to know that he needs a little break.”

Ren Wadsworth

There is also the fact that the real-life CAM is not the same breed as the ram on the CSU logo or the costume version of CAM — what the Ram Handlers have dubbed “two-legged CAM.” 

“Our official mascot is actually the bighorn sheep,” handler Karoline Beeson said. “But they are a protected breed, and you cannot own them domestically. So we have a domesticated Rambouillet ram as kind of our stand-in animal ambassador.”

According to his handlers, CAM has a very chill yet outgoing personality. When he’s not running across a football field, he’s often taking photos at events and getting lots of scratches.

“CAM’s a big chiller,” said Genevieve Bock, captain of the Ram Handlers team. “I would say CAM kind of represents the Colorado ideals. He loves to be outdoors, he loves to make friends, he loves to chill. Every once in a while, you’ll catch him climbing.”

Ad

CAM is also said to be quick to learn new things. While he’s not trained to do tricks like sit or roll over, he is trained to do many subtle, natural gestures such as posing for photos.

“We also practice something called ‘hand target,’ where you tell CAM ‘hi,’ and he will use his nose to boop your hand,” Beeson said. “That just helps him kind of get in the zone, and he understands that when we ask for those, it’s time to learn and (he) usually does a great job.”

According to several Ram Handlers, CAM’s favorite places to be pet are on the back of the head, the area right between his eyes and especially behind the ears.

“If you’re ever meeting CAM and you’re allowed to touch him after asking one of the handlers, definitely give him a nice big scratch behind his ears and he’ll often tilt his head to lean into it because he can’t quite hit that spot himself,” Bock said.

Applications to be a Ram Handler open March 1 and are available for the entire month on the Alumni Association page on CAM.

Reach Barnaby Atwood at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @Barnaby_Atwood.

Leave a Comment
Navigate Left
  • These 3 iconic movies are Coloradans

    Culture and Community

    These 3 iconic movies are Coloradans

  • These famous cults got their start — or end — in Colorado

    Culture and Community

    These famous cults got their start — or end — in Colorado

  • Colorado breweries are home to cult of specialty beer lovers

    Culture and Community

    Colorado breweries are home to cult of specialty beer lovers

  • Forest Congress inspires future natural resources leaders

    Culture and Community

    Forest Congress inspires future natural resources leaders

  • Many organizations set up tables on the Lory Student Center West Lawn for the Earth Day Festival April 22.

    Culture and Community

    Earth Day Festival unites in promoting sustainability, awareness

  • The Fort Collins Rescue Mission sign stands at its location and displays its mission statement, Changing Lives in the Name of Christ March 18.

    Culture and Community

    Sheltered by compassion: Reviewing refuges for unhoused people in NoCo

  • Passover Seder sees holiday celebrations with friends, family

    Culture and Community

    Passover Seder sees holiday celebrations with friends, family

  • Colorado State University students dance to Ulupalakua at the Asian Pacific American Cultural Centers 40th anniversary luau April 20.

    Culture and Community

    APACC celebrates anniversary, Asian Pacific American heritage at luau

  • A participant swipes red and yellow paint across a screen onto a tote bag during the Love Women of Color: Celebrating Empowerment Through Art screen printing workshop April 18.

    Culture and Community

    Silk screening workshop creates space for women of color through art

  • Culture and Community

    Ryan Sallans habla sobre su viaje como hombre transgénero

Navigate Right

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *