McNeese State athletes talk to incoming freshmen about attended sporting events during the fifth annual McNeese Cowboy Camp. First-time freshmen and transfer students got a crash course about McNeese history and traditions. (Brad Puckett / American Press)
Last Modified: Sunday, July 15, 2012 9:00 PM
About 150 incoming freshmen gathered in the Sky Ranch on Friday morning for the fifth annual McNeese State University Cowboy Camp.
Kedrick Nicholas, director of the Holbrook Student Union and activities, said the point of the camp is for incoming freshmen to enjoy themselves and feel connected to McNeese.
“We want them to leave here engaged and feeling more comfortable about their first day. We want to give them the opportunity to have a better appreciation of McNeese,” Nicholas said.
“Our whole goal is that we don’t want the first day of school to feel like the first day. We want them to be acclimated and to know that there are students already on campus that they have access to,” said Jessica White, a graduate assistant in the Leadership Program Office, who also helped plan the event.
All of the student leaders of the camp, called “Rowdy Riders,” are leaders in various organizations on campus. Encouraging camp attendees to become involved on campus is a big part of their job.
“I hope it inspires them to be more involved. I hope they meet people and find activities they click with,” said Megan Anderson, who has been a “Rowdy Rider” for four years.
“I like the experience of interacting with freshman and continuing to encourage them to come to McNeese,” said Desiree Burnett. This is Burnett’s second year as a “Rowdy Rider.”
Nicholas said today’s attendees are next year’s student leaders. “It establishes a core of students that is going to be invested from the minute they step on campus,” Nicholas said.
Darby Swoboda, an incoming freshman from Katy, Texas, said she attended the event to meet new people and to get to know the school better. She said the icebreakers they played at the beginning of the day were her favorite part.
“It was fun getting to know the peer leaders and the people I’m going to school with,” Swoboda said.
“All those icebreakers worked, too. Everyone was sitting around being awkward, but now we are all talking. It’s been a fun day,” said Kyle Cook, another incoming freshman from Katy.
A group of McNeese athletes spoke to the students about joining “Blue Blaze Nation,” a new student organization that supports the school’s sports teams.
The camp also provided students the chance to see parts of the university they might not otherwise be privy to.
“They get to go into the new fieldhouse. They get to do things normal students don’t get to do,” Anderson said. “They get to have the first inside look at everything at McNeese.”
Camp attendees also attended several sessions, including “Get Connected” and “Becoming a True Cowboy and Cowgirl.”
Kendal Tucker, an incoming freshman from Shreveport, said she was really interested in the “Get Connected” session. She also was excited to meet her new classmates.
“I had butterflies in my stomach about the first day of school,” Tucker said. “I’m not so nervous anymore.”
Posted By: henry On: 7/15/2012
Is the Mcneese football team going to suck again this year????????????????