Aug 31, 2020
College of the Ozarks hosted Character Camp for the Fall 2020 incoming class Aug. 17-23 2020.
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks hosted Character Camp, an orientation program for incoming students, from Aug. 17-23, despite uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Character Camp places the incoming class of students into small cohorts known as families. Each family is led by a male and female upperclassmen student identified as a “Mom” and “Pop.” Families consist of approximately 10 students, and this fall the incoming class had 36 families.
The fall Character Camp schedule was modified to ensure students are provided with a safe and healthy orientation experience. Presentations were relocated to the Keeter Gymnasium, and meals were served at nine different locations throughout campus. Off-campus travel was removed from the schedule, and service projects were restricted to campus property. Multiple activities for smaller groups were scheduled each night to minimize large gatherings.
The foundation of Character Camp was not impacted, and COVID-19 did not derail the College’s goal of fostering an engaged community.
“The College desires to create an unforgettable experience for the students while easing their transition into higher education and equipping them on how to C of O,” said Nick Sharp, dean of students. “Although COVID-19 has influenced the way in which we interact with one another, the opportunity to connect with others is still very achievable.”
Character Camp is a one-of-a-kind orientation experience as it is not merely about the student receiving information. Students are challenged in a variety of ways through character education, social interaction, team building exercises, and self-reflection.
“No matter the challenge, students know they have a core group of peers to rely on throughout the week to help each other overcome obstacles,” Sharp said. “This understanding and reliance on each other helps build community and is what makes Character Camp so special.”