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Transfer Camp welcomes students

Published: Monday, June 11, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

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Roger Zhang -- THE BATTALION

Fish Camp introduces incoming freshmen to life at Texas A&M University.

As each academic year passes, Texas A&M University welcomes new additions to the Aggie family. Along with incoming freshmen and graduate students, hundreds of transfer students leave their previous institutions to embark on a unique learning experience in Aggieland.

Transfer Camp is an organization of more than 100 current students designed to welcome transfer students and help them transition to Aggie life. T-Camp sessions occur the first two weeks in August at the Trinity Pines retreat center in Trinity, Texas. Campers attend a two-day session filled with activities bringing light to A&M traditions and spirit.

Jonathan Hicks, biomedical sciences graduate student and chair of Camp Gardner, one of five camp for Transfer Camp, said because the camp targets transfer students, they can focus more on introducing the unique culture of A&M rather than aspects of adjusting to college life.

“We make it our goal to plug them in the Aggie Network. They may already have a college experience, but they then discover the college experience” Hicks said. “They are immersed in games, skits, and activities that enlighten them about our unique university while forming close bonds to those around them.”

Hicks said registration for T-Camp is open and they already have a tremendous response. Last year, T-Camp had a record-breaking attendance of 320 campers and they expect this number to increase in years to come.

Brittany Watson, senior marketing major and Executive Director of T-Camp, has been involved with T-Camp since freshman year and made lifelong friends in the process
She said, “I have had some of the best experiences while being involved in Transfer Camp. The activities of T-Camp really engage the transfer students and give them a proper welcome to A&M”

Many campers find yell practice and discussion groups a great chance to bond with one another and feel more comfortable about transferring to a large university said Watson. Her favorite part of the camp session is camper campfire, where members give feedback on their camp experience before leaving.

“The campers gather around in a large circle in their individual camp room. A lot of campers express their gratitude for all the hard work members of the camp put in, others talk about the amazing friends they’ve made” Watson said. “It is just an amazing experience. You can really see how much of an impact we made on the transfer students.”

Noah Jackson, senior communication major and Director of Recruitment and Registration, said he attended T-Camp when he transferred to A&M in 2009. He said after his experience, he knew he wanted to be a part of providing the same welcome to new members of the Aggie family.

“I knew that I wanted to be here, but I was very shy and unsure about going to T-Camp. I ended up having the best weekend of my life” Jackson said. “I met some of my close friends, learned a lot about Texas A&M, and I truly understood what it meant to be a part of the Aggie family. I wanted to give that same experience to other transfer students.”

Jackson said from the time a camper pulls up in the parking lot, T-Camp works to maintain an inclusive atmosphere while making each camper understand A&M traditions and resources available to them on campus. He said it is amazing to see how T-Camp teaches transfer students to bleed maroon and learn what being an Aggie is all about.

“As a third generation Aggie, I have been in love with Texas A&M my whole life — it is cool to see so many new Aggies fall in love with the school I hold so dear to my heart,” Jackson said.

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