Wow…Where do I begin?!? Hokie Camp 2008 marks the beginning of a very special tradition for the Virginia Tech community. As the student director for the program this year, my main goal was to pass down the knowledge and traditions of Tech to the incoming class of 2012. Since this is the first year, we did not know what to expect. Would the freshmen want to come to this event? Would they be enthusiastic and excited about it? Those were all answered the second each one of them jumped off of the bus early Monday morning. As “Enter Sandman” played in the background, the campers didn’t skip a beat! They jumped around and really embraced one of our most well-known athletic traditions right away. At the welcome session, there was an energy in the room that was electric. You had to be here to feel the emotion of each person…absolutely stunning!
When I ventured around the camp to observe the various activities, I noticed some very special moments. All of the color groups formed their own culture right away. Each building group represented themselves proudly within the color group, but they each played an integral part in the entire group’s success. This is something that is seen everyday around our campus. Although we are all diverse and unique in our own way, our Principles of Community, mutual respect for one another, and undying love for Tech allows us to live and learn from one another each and everyday, ultimately forming our strong Hokie Nation.
The campers were given the opportunity to experience teamwork and trust on the low ropes course. During the academics piece, they were exposed to the many resources available on campus, and everyone was given the opportunity to openly talk about the importance of getting involved with a panel of counselors. The freshmen were all excited to learn about each one of our campus traditions, and had a blast putting together skits to teach the rest of the groups. During the night session, freshmen put their color affiliations aside and danced to some great music! To conclude the night, four of our counselors shared their personal experiences and touching stories during our campfire session. Truly an incredible time!
As the sessions conclude today, Hokie Camp 2008 will forever remind me of how lucky I am to be a Hokie. I am confident when I say that the Class of 2012 will “Invent the Future” and be an amazing addition to our community. Serving as the student director has allowed me to live our motto, Ut Prosim, and for that, I will be forever grateful. On behalf of the Hokie Camp staff, we wish the Class of 2012 the best of luck in the fall semester, and hope that this experience was a memorable one! GO HOKIES!
~Robbie Zayas (Hokie Camp student director)
What does it mean to be a Hokie?
“Enter Sandman” blasted from the speakers; eager and excited counselors jumped up and down; three buses full of new Hokies pulled up to Smith Mountain Lake. It was the start of a beautiful day, and the freshman had no idea how truly amazing these next couple days are going to be.
When the excitement settled down, everyone separated into small groups and embarked on the myriad of fun teambuilding activities planned for the day. It was truly incredible watching as my group transformed from the initial hesitant, I-don’t-know-these-people reactions to a work together, leave no man behind attitude that brought them so much closer.
By the end of the day, whether playing hard on the field or “walkin it out” on the dance floor or sitting together around a campfire, everyone not only showed team pride for their groups but also learned to put their differences aside and come together as one community.
The campfire tonight served as a reflection period for both the counselors and the campers, and it was truly moving. Touching personal stories shared by counselors really resonated throughout the group, and the excitement that is Hokie Spirit beamed on everyone’s faces. Everyone here is so passionate about Virginia Tech and takes such great pride in being a Hokie. It brings a tear to my eye to think that each of these new Hokies are just beginning to scrape the surface of what being a Virginia Tech student is all about.
So what does it mean to be a Hokie? Well, that is exactly what everyone is learning at Hokie Camp. It has been such an amazing experience, and I do not want it to end.
All incoming freshman attending Virginia Tech should definitely experience Hokie Camp. I have learned the many traditions that are so important to the Hokie family and the counselors and staff have been welcoming to all freshman coming to Tech. The activities are great and everyone enjoys a little friendly competition! Its a great opportunity to make new friends and build a sense of community before classes even start. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, GO NEWMAN YELLOW! (Thats my team) :)
For everyone planning to come to VT in the future I would highly recommend coming to HOKIE CAMP!!! I mean there’s great camp counselors, ridiculously cool incoming freshmen, and fun activities. Straight up… you need to come. And for all those that said that they didn’t want to come because “it’s probably gonna be lame”, “i don’t wanna spend the money, it’s not worth it”, well YOU WERE VERY, VERY WRONG!!! SORRY YOU MISSED OUT. PEACE!!!
Hokie Camp has been alot of fun. It reminds me of a summer camp program. It is like summer camp in that you get to meet new people and make new friends. It is unlike summer camp in that you get the opportunity to hang out with the same friends at college. I would advise anyone to participate in Hokie Camp because its a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people. Go Hokies!
My camp counselors are super cool! My fellow campers are really nice and cool! I know this experience will enhance my role at Virginia Tech not only as a student but also as a supporter for life. The values that Virginia Tech holds is true and honest. The same values that may carry on in my life. This experience has got me pumped and psyched to attend Virginia Tech and experience the traditions that I will remember for the rest of my life.
This has been such an awesome experience so far! I’ve been so impressed with our group of counselors and incoming freshmen– the enthusiasm and positive attitude that everyone has had is contagious, and everyone is definitely feeding off of each others’ energy. I’m really excited for the rest of Hokie Camp, and I can tell that the freshmen are getting pumped about coming to Tech in the fall! We’re definitely doing everything we can to get them excited and help them make friends that they will hopefully stay in touch with throughout their time at Tech.
Elizabeth Sullivan (counselor)