New students invade campus
The University of Oklahoma’s freshman orientation event Camp Crimson is in the midst of the fourth session of five offered to students who are new to campus. The camp is in its twentieth year, and camp attendance is the highest in its history.
Sophomore Kaleigh Reeder, a past Camp Crimson attendee, is now serving as a crew member.
“I came to camp last year as a really scared freshman,” Reeder said. “I cried the night before. It can be really intimidating to come to college alone. You have to be really brave. Camp was awesome for me. I made new friends and it made me feel really comfortable and safe coming to OU a month later.”
Campers participate in a variety of activities during the week including an opening session, construction of cardboard boats and a boat race in the pool, relay races, a retro dance night, small group time, as well as study tip sessions.
“Some of the activities we participate in involve more interaction than you’d like at first, but it’s good because it breaks down barriers,” incoming freshman Reese McDonald said. “You meet a ton of new people in a short amount of time and make connections. As a fourth generation Sooner, I know the campus, but I’ve enjoyed meeting people.”
Whether they are completely new to campus or entering as a transfer student, campers benefit from the early access, training and friendships provided at camp.
“I was actually really afraid to come to college because you’re alone, without any family,” incoming freshman Brady Williams said. “Being at Camp Crimson has been great. I’m sure I’m going to be friends with these people for the rest of my life, and I’m actually really excited to go to OU now.”
Whether building boats or relationships, these campers and crew members plan to take the relationships they make during this event into the future.
“It starts at camp and never stops,” Reeder said. “The connections we make with the campers are going to carry them throughout all of their college careers. It’s about making them feel like they belong.”
Camp Crimson offers 5 separate sessions, and registration for the final session, which will take place from July 27-29 is available here.
Full photography galleries from Francis Phan Photography are available here.
Written by Ashley Spencer and Kacee Price