August 25, 2017
New students at College of the Ozarks participate in a week-long orientationPaige Coffelt, freshman agriculture education major, serves the community by cleaning and sorting items at Riley’s Treasures.
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — New students at College of the Ozarks experienced a week-long orientation to launch the fall semester, last week, Aug. 11-18. 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, 394 incoming students were assigned to one of 40 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 junior Zane Buhr, “To be a Character Camp pop is to be fully committed to the overall mission of the program.”
During Character Camp, students participated in community service projects at the following locations: Kids Across America, Ballparks of America, Christian Action Ministries/Faith Community Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kirbyville Middle School, Branson Parks and Recreation Department, and Point Lookout Nursing and Rehab, to name a few.
Buhr and his partner, junior Lydia Burnett, took their family to Ballparks of America, where they worked to prepare the park for an upcoming tournament.
“Although there is always plenty of work to be done on campus, the opportunity to be examples of the Christ-like work ethic that C of O fosters in us was a humbling and memorable experience,” Buhr said.
Senior Noah Sipes, said serving as a pop allowed him the opportunity to impact students and their perceptions towards college.
“Community service strengthens our bond as a family. We have a job to do, and we’re going to do it well,” Sipes 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 The Track and White Water, 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 www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.
08.25.17 – Lauren Presley and Tara McCloskey