The Maxwell Field bleachers were packed on Thursday, and not for a sporting event. Incoming freshmen and transfer students participated in Cat Camp, a new orientation event that focuses on creating school spirit.
New students learned about Linfield’s academic and athletic traditions through trivia games with prizes, watched the cheerleaders perform spirited chants, learned the Wildcat fight song and formed a human tunnel on the field, which faculty members hope can be recreated on game days.
The idea for Cat Camp came from a group decision made by Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, Dan Preston, vice president of Enrollment Services, Susan Hopp, dean of students, and Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of Residence Life. The group of faculty watched a “webinar” about how to create school traditions, and decided that Cat Camp would be a great way to build school spirit and create a lasting tradition.
“Cat Camp went better than we had hoped,” Fergueson said. “We were excited about trying a new tradition and a new start, but we were pretty nervous that it may not have the enthusiasm that we were hoping for.”
Returning students were at the Cat Camp to help engage new students in by showing their enthusiasm throughout the event.
“I loved the response from the crowd when I asked them to cheer as if the football team had just scored the winning touchdown,” sophomore Austin Browning said in an email.
Browning is one of many students co-teaching colloquium this year as a Peer Advisor, and believes that Cat Camp was beneficial for incoming students. Browning also hopes that the energy present at Cat Camp continues throughout the year at all Linfield events, including football games, plays, music performances and research talks.
“[For] the administration and the student government, one of the goals this year is to reinvigorate school spirit,” Fergueson said. “We have a lot of students engaged, both athletically and academically, and we really want all students to help support that.”
Samantha Sigler / Editor-in-chief
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