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The Ozark Visitor

Events and Activities Calendar

News from Hard Work U.®

Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212

January 16, 2018

New students at College of the Ozarks participate in week-long orientation

Students volunteering during Character CampPHOTO CAPTION: Rebeca Esteves and Addie Parrish, freshmen, along with their orientation week “pop,” Caden Peterson, senior, serve the community by organizing and cleaning local thrift store Riley’s Treasures.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — New students at College of the Ozarks experienced a week-long orientation to launch the spring semester last week, Jan. 8-14. The event, called Character Camp, featured times of community service.

Character Camp provides an intensive orientation to the College and clearly outlines what is expected of students. The program is also designed to develop character in students.

During the week, 134 incoming students were assigned to one of 14 groups, called “families.” Each family was led by two upperclassman who model the character expected of a C of O student. These “moms and pops” served as leaders and mentors to the “kids” in their families throughout the week.

“Being a Character Camp pop is one of those experiences I will always remember,” said senior Caden Peterson. “I love Character Camp because of the community it instills in each student.”

During Character Camp, students participated in community service projects at the following locations: Riley’s Treasures, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Branson Parks and Recreation Department, and the YMCA, to name a few.

Peterson and his partner, senior Chantel Martin, took their family to Riley’s Treasures, where they worked to prepare the store for the upcoming year.

“Character Camp is my favorite week because it’s another opportunity College of the Ozarks has given me to pour God’s love into others,” Martin said.

“Community service strengthens our bond as a family. We have a job to do, and we’re going to do it well,” Martin said. “We worked together and had a fun time.”

Character Camp also included activities such as a challenge course where students learned the value of teamwork, special speakers, time at Fritz’s Adventure, chapel services, “family” time, and advisor time.

Each incoming student wrote a “Reflections of Christ-like Character” essay. The essay is a requirement for students and is evaluated by various members of the College. Essays are judged on relevance, clarity, depth, and accuracy.

Throughout this coming semester, the “families” will reunite three different times to discuss progress and the “moms and pops” will encourage the incoming students by walking alongside of them in this new chapter of life. One of these “family” reunions will involve another community service project.

Vowing to honor

On the last night of Character Camp, all the families gathered for a special dinner called the Honor Induction Etiquette Banquet.

“The banquet provides an opportunity for the College to corporately recognize those students who wrote exceptional essays on ‘Reflections of Christ-like Character’,” said Nick Sharp, dean of students. “The banquet caps off the College’s eight-day orientation program with a keynote presentation, the signing of the Honor Code, and a reading of one of the winning essays.” 

The banquet concludes the Character Camp week and is a way to celebrate the start of the school year.

“It is also an opportunity for the families to enjoy a culminating event that honors them and welcomes them to the College,” said Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education.

A very special part of the evening is the signing of the honor code, which reads as follows: “I agree to be an honest, trustworthy, caring, and responsible citizen. I will uphold these values in others and myself.”

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including a No. Best Value Regional College in the Midwest ranking by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center—the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility—was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.


01.16.18 – Kyle Duncan 


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