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AU News

Base Camp: More Than Just Another Orientation

June 9, 2022
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Base Camp equips incoming students to proceed with confidence as they begin their college journey.

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Before summiting a major mountain, a climber must make that crucial stop at a base camp. It’s there where they acclimate to the altitude and conditions, check their supplies and equipment, and mentally prepare for their ascent to the top.

Just as climbers need to be ready to go onward and upward, so do new college students. Anderson University’s Base Camp prepares incoming students to successfully navigate their college journeys. While the challenges are different from that of a mountain summit, college life presents challenges of its own; however, a team of guides is there for new students to welcome them to the community, prepare them for what lies ahead, and also have some fun. 

Base Camp is much more than just another orientation for Isabella Campbell. A rising senior from Anderson majoring in Elementary Education with an add-on in Early Childhood Education, Campbell is in her third year as a Base Camp guide. She looks forward to showing incoming students from a current student perspective the place she loves.

“The whole thing we get to do, it just cultivates community on that first ‘thing’ for the students. There’s no convincing. We’re just saying ‘hey, we love it here and we hope you do too,’ which is very special,” Campbell said.

Base Camp guide Cooper Reynolds jokingly says he came to Anderson University “on a Google Search and gut instinct.” Reynolds, a Base Camp guide from Lexington, South Carolina, and student body president, says, “They come in the morning and they’re scared. They might be worried or leaning onto their parents. Then when they’re done at five o’clock, 95 percent of them are like ‘okay mom and dad, I’ll see y’all later. I’ve got this college thing, let’s go.’ That’s really neat to see how that works out throughout the day.”

Allen Geiger and Clancy Stauffer will be among the first people Base Camp participants will see this summer. Geiger, a rising senior accounting major from Greenville, South Carolina, cherishes his own Base Camp experiences and the many individuals at Anderson University who invested in him.

“I came in as a very different person. I was just scared. I didn’t come in as a Christian,” Geiger said. “I was coming into a Christian college basically biblically illiterate, not knowing anything… Just having people who didn’t treat me differently and who were so kind and so welcoming and remembered me when I got back. That was really important.” Being part of Base Camp, Geiger has had a variety of experiences, but a really special one for him was meeting his fiancé, Taylee Crisler, when they were both Base Camp guides together.

“What I think is the heart of Base Camp—it really is transformational versus transactional,” said Lauren Brett, Director of Student Involvement and New Student Programs. “We want you to come onto this campus and when you’re here, you’re home. You get to meet people that you’re going to be in class with. You get to talk with your professors. You get to talk with someone from Financial Aid. It’s not just an email where you’re getting that information, but it actually shifts into ‘these are the people that are going to be alongside me for these next four years of my journey.’ 

So I really do cast the vision often for my team and also for incoming students that we don’t want them just to leave here knowing more about Anderson, we want them leaving here invested in Anderson, feeling like they have roots here, that they’re a part of what we’re doing here.” 

Base Camp dates:

  • June 21
  • June 22
  • June 23
  • June 24
  • July 26
  • July 27
  • July 28
  • July 29
  • August 19

Details about Base Camp can be found here

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