The Polar Bear Mascot

Guidelines for Wearers and Managers of the Bowdoin Mascot Costume
Bowdoin polar bear mascot on the steps of the Museum

Wearing the Costume

When putting on the costume, the wearer should have someone present to ensure it fits and is worn properly. That person should inspect the suit and check that:

  • zippers are out of sight;
  • the head is properly affixed to the body and straight, without gaps between the head and shoulders of the suit;
  • the head flap is tucked into the shirt and not visible;
  • the shirt is on straight (the shirt with the Bowdoin “B” is a mandatory costume element);
  • the sightline is not obscured and in the right position so the person wearing the costume can see;
  • all Velcro or other connectors are fastened;
  • the gloves are tucked into the sleeves;
  • the feet are always worn and are tucked under the pant cuffs; and
  • if applicable and in working order, the helmet is comfortably positioned and the fan is on.

Do not add any clothing or accessories that are not part of the official costume without prior approval from the Office of Communications.

Polar Bear mascot sharing some tea

While in Costume

  • Remember that, when you wear the polar bear costume, you represent Bowdoin College.
  • Costumed users should not speak during appearances, should avoid appearing in less than full costume in public, and must appear dignified but also friendly and enthusiastic.
  • Do not consume alcohol when costumed as the polar bear, even in partial costume.
  • Smoking or handling of any flame is dangerous and strictly prohibited.
  • In general, the costumed polar bear should allow adults and children to approach them rather than approaching children and others. Exceptions can be made when known relationships exist or when there are expectations that the bear will interact with certain people or groups.
  • In addition to walking around during an appearance, the person wearing the costume should make their gestures and responses bigger than normal and to pantomime responses and emotions as needed since they can’t speak or have their facial expressions read. Be animated and energetic—and have fun!
  • Visibility in the costume is very limited. There should be at least one Bowdoin escort to accompany the bear. Use caution in any situations that include walking up or down stairs, riding bikes, balancing on awkward surfaces, standing or walking in high places, holding heavy objects, or any other potentially dangerous scenario and avoid them altogether if the performer is not confident. The costumed polar bear should not drive motorized vehicles except in specific circumstances
    and conditions that have been approved by the Office of Communications in advance.
  • The costume is warm, and wearing it in hot weather can be uncomfortable. Limit the time spent in costume when the weather is hot. Do not remove parts of the costume in view of event audiences but do take breaks out of sight as needed and make sure to hydrate frequently.

Taking Care of the Costume

Please return the costume in good condition.

After each appearance, check the costume for needed repairs or cleaning. Note this on the outside of the storage box for immediate follow-up by the owner/manager of the costume. (The suit should be cleaned at least two times a year and whenever is necessary in between.)

  • The costume should be hung to air out after each use, rather than stored right away in the container, especially during hot weather.
  • Do not force the costume into the storage container/bag in a way that will crush or result in the distortion of the head. If necessary, leave it out or put it in a clear plastic bag.