Camp Texas 2011 Counselors Gather One Last Time

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With Camp Texas 2011 come and gone, this year’s counselors gathered one last time Sunday to reminisce, write each other notes, and enjoy some free food from P. Terry’s at the Alumni Center.

Student coordinator Chrissy Shackelford, a theater studies senior, thanked the counselors for their hard work during semester-long training in the spring and two three-day camp sessions this summer. About 350 incoming freshmen attended Camp Texas this year.

“I was most pleased by how willing this group of counselors was to get involved and how quickly they participated,” Shackelford said. “There was no counselor I was ever worried about, and I knew I could depend on them all.”

Camp Texas is a three-day excursion for incoming freshmen out at Camp Balcones Springs near Marble Falls. For the campers, it’s meant to be a fun-filled and informative introduction to the University, peppered with group activities, water olympics, and leadership training.

For the 60 counselors, Camp Texas is much more than just the three days out at camp. For the whole spring semester, they spend each Friday afternoon training to welcome the new students to Texas and to lead the group activities they will do at camp.

First-year counselor Hillary Plocheck applied to be a counselor after a moving experience as a camper in 2010. About three months before coming to camp, she was in a car accident and broke her pelvis. Unable to walk on her own, she arrived at the Alumni Center, where Camp Texas begins, in a walker.

“Because so many of the ice-breakers we did involved physical activity,” she said, “the counselors weren’t sure how to handle me. I ended up just scooting away from my circle and into a corner.”

She ended up having a great experience out at camp, and even started walking without aid. She applied to be a counselor the following fall.

“That experience of camp was so enlightening for me that I felt I had to come back,” she said. “I wanted to be there if there was ever a camper like me again.”

After the burgers and cupcakes, Plocheck and her fellow counselors took turns writing anonymous notes to each other, which they slipped into individual envelopes with each counselor’s name on it.

At the end, the counselors said goodbye to the seniors and sang “The Eyes of Texas.”


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