Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Camping out of their comfort zones

Freshmen traveled to Elkhorn on Saturday to take part in Camp Warhawk, a way for beginning students to get to know one other through various interactive activities.

Camp Warhawk began last year when the First Year Experience Office decided to find a

Photo by Andrew Smith

way to bring freshmen out of their comfort zones.

“This is a great opportunity for first year students who haven’t totally engaged yet on campus,” Director of First Year Experience, Kim Moistner-Bartlett said. “To really make that commitment of signing up for the weekend trip can be kind of scary for freshmen.”

Buses departed on 9 a.m. on Saturday with just over  30 students on board. Among the students were Hawk Squard members who went along to act as camp counselers for the freshmen.

Moistner-Bartlett said students stayed in cabins, with about eight people per lodge.

The freshmen were assigned to troops that are led by two Hawk Squad leaders. Troop sizes are held to about eight to 10 freshmen, depending on the amount of students who attend camp that semester.

Photo by Andrew Smith

Camp Warhawk is held 30 minutes from Whitewater, just outside of Elkhorn. The experience takes place on the Lauderdale lakefront, allowing students to canoe and swim.

Freshmen took part in Playfair, a highly-interactive team experience which enabled students to break out of their comfort zones.

“The playfair was a lot of fun because of all the different activities they had us doing,” freshman Brooke Bridges said. “It really got us to know one another. I think I will definitely keep some of the friendships I made there.”

Moistner-Bartlett said the goal for the Camp Warhawk experience is to create bonds and connections in the freshmen class.

Last year was the first year of Camp Warhawk. The First Year Experience  hoped to get 100 freshmen signed up for the camp.

When only 40 students came, at first Moistner-Bartlett was disappointed.

“When we got to the camp we were like ‘What were we thinking wanting 100 people?’” Moistner-Bartlett said. “It would not have been effective, so we were fortunate that it turned out the way it did.”

She said they try to keep the available spots to under 50 students to allow for more student involvement and interaction.

Each group is given both physical and cognitive challenges that they have to complete. The activities promote coopertivity, Moistner-Bartlett said.

The Playfair activities are put on by facilitaters from a national company. They specifically target first-year college students by having them take part in unique activities.

“On the bus ride there, everybody was quiet, but on the way home everyone was talking to eachother,” Bridges said. “You could really see the big difference afterwards.”

Bridges said she would recommend the Camp Warhawk experience to freshmen in the future because “you can get to learn ways to come out of your comfort zones and meet friends.”

Camp Warhawk is only offered in the fall semester each year. The  plan is to keep the camping trip within the first few weeks of the semester as a way to reach out to students struggling on meeting new friends.

Freshmen paid $50, which covered the majority of their lodging and meals for the weekend. The First Year Experience department pays for all additional things, including the Playfair activities and bus transportation.

“It really is kind of powerful how we end the experience,” Moistner-Bartlett said. “We talk about the risk they took to come out here. That’s a huge commitment to pay money, get on a bus and go away for a weekend with complete strangers.”

Moistner-Bartlett said she applauds students for taking the leap to get out of their comfort zones.

“Students tend to like this trip because it is fun and they get to break out of their bubbles and meet new people,” Moistner-Bartlett said. “It gives them the boost they need to make them realize that if they can do this, they can do so much more like join an organization or run for an office.”

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Founded 1901
Camping out of their comfort zones