Jan 17, 2023

College of the Ozarks hosts Character Camp for spring 2023 incoming class


Students participate in service projects across campus, including cleaning the dairy barn, during freshman orientation, known as Character Camp, at College of the Ozarks Jan. 2-8.
Students participate in service projects across campus, including cleaning the dairy barn, during freshman orientation, known as Character Camp, at College of the Ozarks Jan. 2-8.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Incoming freshmen at College of the Ozarks experienced Character Camp, a week-long orientation, from Jan. 2-8.

Character Camp provides an intensive orientation to the College and outlines what is expected of students. The program is designed to develop character in students and provides new students with a built-in support system that helps them navigate their college experience.

During the week, 104 incoming students were placed into 12 groups called “families.” Each family was led by two upperclassmen 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 mom has been one of my favorite parts of C of O,” said junior public relations major Esther Rea. “I love being able to introduce new freshmen to our campus, pour into them individually, and then be a resource and friend during their time here. The week is full of fun activities that create lifelong memories!”

During Character Camp, students also participated in community service projects across campus, including scrubbing milk equipment at the dairy, mopping residence hall floors, and deep cleaning the new engineering building.

“Community service projects during Character Camp are important because they cultivate an atmosphere of community, focused on selfless servant-leadership,” said junior Shelomi Miner. “The projects are not the actual mission of community service but rather the means by which the greater mission of reflecting Christ through kingdom-minded words and actions can be more clearly revealed.”

Miner, a double major in exercise science and biblical and theological studies as well as a minor in business administration, was a Character Camp pop this spring.

Character Camp also included activities such as special speakers, chapel services, “family” time, advisor time, an end-of-the-week banquet, and a challenge course where students learned the value of teamwork.

Each incoming student wrote a “Reflections on 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.