One hundred new Spartans got a jump-start on their freshman year through Spartan BASE Camp, a three-day transition experience for incoming first-year students hosted by the Division of Student Affairs. The camp was held Aug. 12-14 and offered a variety of activities that centered around health, wellness, leadership, community, and Spartan pride.
“BASE Camp creates this intentional, intimate community that helps the students’ transition happen much more quickly and shortens the learning curve,” said Coretta Walker, assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs. “Students who get plugged in and feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to campus have the resources and social capital to be retained. BASE Camp was created to fill that gap.”
To foster a sense of community, campers got the opportunity to move into residence halls early, allowing them a few extra days to settle into campus life. Campers were divided into “squads” that were led by an upperclassman “squad leader” who guided them through the program.
“I wanted to make their first impression of our University positive and memorable,” said squad leader Gabriela Amaro. “I hoped that I would become a familiar face the campers could count on as they went on their personal journeys here at UNCG.”
Engaging presentations from different offices around campus provided campers with connections to staff, information about resources available to them throughout their college experience, and coping strategies to handle stress and any problems they might face in their first year and beyond.
To build leadership skills, campers engaged in activities that involved team building and self-discovery. To put these skills to the test, they participated in a high and low ropes course through Team QUEST at Piney Lake.
BASE Camp ended with campers creating an engagement plan to map out how they will enact what they learned at camp. There was also a closing ceremony, which was camper Saheim Jones’ favorite part of the experience.
“All 100 of us together, holding hands, encouraging each other. It will always be my favorite memory because I made some incredible friends that I know I can turn to. It was a moment that made me feel like I’m home. That moment created a family for me.”
BASE Camp will return for the 2020 fall semester. For more information, visit sa.uncg.edu/basecamp.
Story by Alexandra McQueen, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications