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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Cub Camp may have alternative format if health concerns continue

Over 90 percent of Cub Camp attendees surveyed say they leave camp feeling proud to be a UH student. | Courtesy of Brian Waddle

Each year, incoming freshmen attend Cub Camp, a place to learn UH traditions, get a greater sense of community and socialize with their peers. Cub Camp potentially could not take place in person, due to the new coronavirus related health concerns.

Traditionally hosted in Trinity, Cub Camp is a three-day and two-night program that takes place the week before classes start. At the off-campus site, students are divided into four different camps led by upperclassmen to participate in activities. This year, there is a possibility that Cub Camp will not take place typically because of the coronavirus.

While Cub Camp will be offered for (the) 2020 incoming freshman class, a decision has not yet been made about how camp will be delivered this year,” executive director of communication at the Provost’s office Brian Waddle said in an email.

As of April 14, Cub Camp plans to continue regular operations for the upcoming August. If health concerns are still an issue closer to the scheduled camp date, Cub Camp will not continue at the same time and place as initially planned.

“We are in the process of developing contingency plans in the event that we are not able to meet face-to-face at Trinity Pines in August,” Waddle said. 

As a student who attended Cub Camp last August, psychology freshman Chinelo Dike believes the experience was a big change for her.  

“You’re outdoors without the greatest cell service and surrounded by people you’ve never met before, but the counselors really tried to make you feel more at home and make you realize that everyone is on the same boat,” Dike said.

Going to Cub Camp before starting classes was something that Dike credits to helping her as she started her time at UH. Out of students who do go to Cub Camp, 96 percent return to UH the following year. 

“I feel like Cub Camp contributed to improving my transition to college because it eased nerves in the beginning seeing campers and counselors around campus, and I’m actually still friends with a girl I met at registration,” Dike said.

Cub Camp still strives to provide incoming students the opportunity to integrate into UH culture and community, despite not knowing how they will move forward. 

“Regardless of the format, the camp experience will continue to reflect our core values of spirit, tradition, unity and growth, creating a culture of community and support,” Waddle said.

As attending Cub Camp is not mandated by the University, students may register at their discretion. However, Dike believes Cub Camp is an opportunity for students to feel comfortable as they start college.

“Though everyone’s experience will be different and not everyone goes, I feel that if Cub Camp doesn’t take place as usual, it’s a lost opportunity for a lot of freshmen, and some may feel that they’re just thrown into college,” Dike said.

In a survey conducted by Cub Camp, the biggest reason why some students decide to not attend Cub Camp is the $140 fee. The camper scholarship aims to financially support students who can’t afford to go to Cub Camp without it. 

“As a key engagement activity for new students, we strive to ensure that all incoming freshmen who wish to participate have the opportunity to attend camp,” Waddle said. “Cub Camp continues to raise funds for $140 scholarships to cover the cost of camp for students in need.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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