Camp COE enables students to have reliable support system for their time at MU

Camp COE offered events for students to get involved including zip-lining, paintball, a climbing wall and Tom-a-Hawk throwing.
The MU College of Engineering embarked on Camp COE, allowing all incoming freshmen, first-year transfers, graduate and international engineering students to build relationships among one another. Photo by Photographer Andrew Moore

For the first year, the MU College of Engineering offered Camp COE to all incoming freshmen, first-year transfers, graduate and international engineering students. Campers had the opportunity to zip line, swim, play paintball and do other activities while building relationships with other engineering students, according to the College of Engineering website.

From Aug. 23 to Aug. 25, students attending Camp COE participated in land and water activities at Trout Lodge in Potosi, Missouri.

Through various activities, students were able to interact with and make new friends after completing their first week of classes as MU students. Additionally, the camp was student-led and created a “universally accepting support system,” according to the College of Engineering website.

“The whole idea of the camp was for students to build relationships,” camp coordinator Lacie Ilsley said.

The camp was led by five student directors and there were 34 student counselors who helped lead each team. Each team consisted of 12 to 15 students and had three counselors per team. Teams were named after engineering themes like Tony Stark, Spock and Fahrenheit Fractions.

According to Ilsley, the College of Engineering got a late start on planning Camp COE, and as a result, did not get to advertise it as much as it would have liked. Despite the late advertising, there was a large turnout. Additionally, the college plans to host Camp COE annually and will add changes to improve the experience for campers.

“We are going to move the location closer ... to High Hill,” Ilsley said.

The college plans to offer the same activities for the campers, but wants it to be closer to campus so students would have a lower chance of missing their classes.

With the main goal of Camp COE being building friendships, many students were able to achieve this.

“[My favorite part was] getting to meet all the other engineering students and really getting to make connections and friendships I would not get to make normally,” freshman engineering student Nate Hardy said.

Additionally, having a wide range of activities to choose from enabled students to find something they enjoyed.

“My favorite part of Camp COE was when all of my group went out on the lake in kayaks and paddleboards and talked for an hour about life,” freshman computer science major Kelly Dade said.

Overall, the camp was introduced by the dean’s office, and Dean Elizabeth Loboa was adamant about students finding supportive friends while at Camp COE.

“We believe having a network of peer support is vital to student success in the classroom,” Loboa said in an email. “Additionally, Camp COE provided new and unique leadership opportunities for the students who served as directors or counselors, building upon our pillar of educating engineering leaders.”

Edited by Laura Evans | levans@themaneater.com

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