New students get jump on college life in Cardinal Camps

Oct 07, 2013

New students who wanted a head start on a North Central College experience and to meet new friends could attend a Cardinal Camp prior to their Welcome Week activities.

Multiday excursions to an urban immersion camp in Chicago or a wilderness adventure camp in northern

Wisconsin attracted 36 incoming students. “One of our main goals was to have them build lasting relationships,” says Whitney Roberts ’08, assistant director of ministry and service, who led the wilderness trip. “But it was an interesting experience for everyone because the students were new to us, too.”

Other wilderness trip leaders included Phil Norris ’16, Lydia Pond, coordinator of recreation programs, and Tad Lehe, professor of philosophy. While at Honey Rock Camp in Wisconsin, the group focused on “knowing yourself and knowing your place in nature,” adds Roberts. “Who you are matters in college and we wanted them to have the space to figure that out.” An overnight hike was part of the agenda.

“Cardinal Camp was an amazing opportunity,” says William Noland ’17. “I had the chance to make new friends, plan for college and learn from a professor, all while enjoying the great outdoors.”

The urban immersion camp was based in Chicago and led by Brian Rainville, director of ministry and service, and involved helping students get acclimated to the city and its amenities. The group stayed at a downtown hostel and embarked on service projects, cultural experiences, a beach visit and walking tours in places like Pilsen and the Hull House.

“The majority of the group hadn’t been in the city,” says Rainville, who was assisted on the trip by Steve Macek, associate professor of speech communication, and student leader Melissa Hurley ’15. “It’s important for students to know what incredible opportunities are available in Chicago and that we have a world-class city literally in our backyard.”

Evan Hansen ’17 was impressed by the city’s cultural diversity and North Avenue beach. “And I was amazed how close I became with the friends I made,” he adds.