University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Day of Giving

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Cub Camp

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We are creating a financial need-based scholarship program to help first-year students cover the cost of Cub Camp, our student-led extended orientation program. We know that students who attend Cub Camp are retained at a higher rate and have higher GPAs. We want every student to have the opportunity to participate in Cub Camp.

About Cub Camp

The inaugural Cub Camp took place before the start of the fall term in 2004, and upperclassmen have worked together to plan and execute a Cub Camp program for the incoming freshman class every year since.  The cost to attend Cub Camp is $55 per student. For their money, students receive meals, a camp t-shirt, entertainment, and memories that will last a lifetime.  

We host Cub Camp for two reasons. First, the transition from high school to college can be difficult. Cub Camp helps to ease that transition.  Our upperclassmen spend time in discussion groups talking about their college experience and sharing tips and tricks for thriving in college. They also talk about the pitfalls and mistakes to avoid.  

Second, we want students to feel connected to their peers, upperclassmen, the faculty, and staff. We want students who attend Cub Camp to feel more like sophomores than freshmen on the first day of class. We hope that they’ll make friendships and connections that will enrich their UAFS experience, but we also hope that they’ll feel comfortable coming to our faculty and staff with issues they encounter along the way. 

We know that students who face financial barriers have a lot to overcome to succeed in college. Cub Camp could be the beginning of a support network that will help them succeed.

A Message from the Dean of Students

I attended my first Cub Camp in the fall of 2012, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had always heard good things about Cub Camp.  The students who attended the program seemed to love it, but when Cub Camp was explained to me in detail, I had my doubts.  Cub Camp, after all, takes newly minted high school graduates and asks them to pour out their cool cup, meet a bunch of new people all at once, be vulnerable about their questions and concerns about the college experience, and learn and perform a dance in front of the entire camp.   When that first Cub Camp was over, I was hooked.  Everything they said would happen did, and the students who attended camp became leaders on campus.  They also came back to become counselors, chairs, c-staff (crew) members, and directors. 

Over the years, I have known students who, through Cub Camp, have made life-long friends, found mentors, and a few have even met their future spouses. For others, Cub Camp has inspired them to go on to work in higher education or event planning. My point is that Cub Camp has the power to change lives. We know that students who attend Cub Camp tend to be retained at a higher rate and have higher GPAs than those who do not attend. Cub Camp is the best way for a UAFS Lion to begin their college career, and I want every student to have this opportunity. 

-Dave Stevens, Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs and Dean of Students

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