Jan 22, 2021
College of the Ozarks hosts Character Camp for spring 2021 incoming class
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks hosted Character Camp, an orientation program for incoming students, from Jan. 13-17.
Character Camp places the incoming class of students into small cohorts known as families. Each family is led by a male and female upperclassmen student identified as “Mom” and “Pop.” Families consist of approximately 12 students. This spring, the incoming class had 13 families.
The spring Character Camp schedule was modified to ensure students are provided with a safe and healthy orientation experience. Presentations were livestreamed to the families at various locations throughout campus. Off-campus travel was removed from the schedule, and service projects were restricted to campus property. Multiple activities for smaller groups were scheduled each night to minimize large gatherings.
“Character Camp provides a welcoming experience for the incoming student, while equipping them to fully embrace the challenges of higher education,” said Nick Sharp, dean of students. “COVID-19 may have changed the way in which we orchestrate our program, but it hasn’t impacted our goal of fostering Christ-like community at Hard Work U.”
“Covid has shown me how to cherish each moment even when things seem hectic,” said senior Coleton Woody, biblical and theological studies major and Character Camp pop. “People are starting to see that this situation is not ideal, but we can find good in the midst of unforeseen circumstances. At Character Camp, these incoming students are placed into a ‘family,’ and as part of this family, we want to continue encouraging and being there for each new student as they transition into their first semester here at C of O.”
Character Camp is a one-of-a-kind orientation experience as it is not merely about the student receiving information. Students are challenged in a variety of ways through character education, social interaction, team building exercises, and self-reflection.
“While spending time with this ‘family,’ we’ve really been able to grow as a group. I’ve gotten to know people that, without this program, I may have never had the chance to meet,” said freshman Brock Thompson, art education major. “Character Camp has given me a good foundation of the College’s expectations and an overall nice start to my time here.”