Freshmen Boot Camp Recap
The Academic Boot Camp and Excel O Rate program 2016 began June 4th, with 25 hand-picked counselors helping move in approximately 130 incoming freshmen students into Merl R. Eppse hall. The camp started immediately after orientation that day at 4pm after parents departed, and the future tigers settled in preparing for their first scheduled event, attending Friendship Missionary Baptist Church the following morning.
“This camp is used to train you physically, spiritually, and mentally. When you leave here you should not be the same as when you came, some of you will probably come back worse. I just promised your parents you would come back different,” Everett Jolley, Director of Recruitment said, “You are being given an amazing opportunity to get ahead of the game by completing this program. When freshmen come in the fall you will hopefully be the pioneers for your class, but either way, this camp is a privilege and privileges can be taken away.”
Participating students quickly got accustomed to the routine of morning workouts, class, studying time, and afternoon discussions/seminars. Students also met every morning before class to say the boot camp creed and sing the alma mater before heading into another day of learning more about their selves and their classmates. Public Speaking, a mandatory class for students, and the work that came along with it proved to be time-consuming but the free time was where the memories were created.
“The first field trip to me was the most memorable. The others were fun, but when we went skating I just remember how everyone was really enjoying themselves. We were helping little kids that kept falling down and it was just a great break from that long first week,” Sapphire Hawkins, Nursing major and incoming freshmen said.
Skating and Nashville Shores were the only two outside field trips, but the students agreed that the best event they had was held in the forum on campus, the boot camp talent show that occurred the last night of camp.
“We just finally saw the whole group come together and there were some funny moments, some serious moments, but by now, after a whole month, we could tell everyone was finally ready to have fun before going home and it helps that they were all really talented, and really supportive of each other,” Kymbryana Hollins, boot camp counselor said.