Thursday, July 12, 2012

UNO Privateer Camp Helps Freshmen Optimize First-Year Experience


Privateer Camp, now in its third year at the University of New Orleans, is designed to help freshmen make new friends before school starts and optimize students’ first-year University experience.

About 65 incoming freshmen will attend the next session, slated for July 31-August 2, said Christy Heaton, associate director for orientation and first-year student success. The three-day two-night freshman leadership retreat, about two-and-a-half hours from New Orleans, is a joint effort hosted by the University's Office of Admissions and the Division of Student Affairs.  Students travel by bus to Camp Wesley Pines, a retreat center in Gallman, Miss., where they spend the weekend learning new skills.

"They are split up into small groups throughout the three days and we call those small groups 'krewes,'” said Heaton. “They participate in education sessions, do fun activities. The three things we try to focus on are diversity, involvement and leadership."

The weekend includes education sessions on issues including: time management, transitioning from high school to college, how to get involved and how to balance involvement with academics.

“We want to make sure that they don't get overinvolved so we talk to them at pre-camp about ‘how do you choose your time wisely between being involved and being academically successful.’”

Privateer Camp is led by approximately 20 student leaders, who apply in May, then spend their own summers preparing to coach new Privateers through their college transition.

Next Friday, students will spend a staff development day doing community service “because we want them to communicate to new freshman that yes, you are a UNO student, but you're also a member of the New Orleans community and service is a great way to be engaged,” Heaton said.

Approximately 15 spots remain open for incoming freshmen hoping to attend Privateer Camp, Heaton said.

To apply, visit www.uno.edu\fyt\privateercamp.