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Student executive leaders selected for fourth annual Hokie Camp


Students at Hokie Camp stand in a circle; their arms lift a hoop in a team activity Hokie Camp shows new students what it is like to be a Virginia Tech Hokie through team-building activities and group sessions.

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 20, 2011 – Virginia Tech’s Hokie Camp is an experience for incoming students that began in 2008. Each year, a group of students applies for the role of executive team member or student director. These student leaders are responsible for selecting and training the more than 150 camp counselors, planning the schedule and content for the three-day camp, and providing leadership leading up to and during camp.

Hokie Camp is an extended orientation experience for freshmen and transfer students held at the Smith Mountain Lake 4-H conference center prior to the start of the academic year. The three-day, two-night program is designed to be a fun way for incoming students to make new friends and learn more about life and traditions at Virginia Tech.

The student leaders are supported by staff members from New Student Programs, a department of the Office of the Dean of Students, and various Hokie Camp committee members from across the university. However, much of the planning and work comes from three student directors and five student executives who discuss scheduling, hire volunteer counselors, develop programming for camp, and put together a weekly newsletter to keep counselors informed.

"Hokie Camp has three student directors who work with orientation staff to coordinate Hokie Camp,” said Rick Sparks, assistant dean of students and orientation director. “I think this allows Hokie Camp to provide incoming students with an amazing, authentic experience. Who knows students better than other students?"

This year, the three student directors are Micheal Bray of Newport News, Va., a junior majoring in management in the Pamplin College of Business; Emily O’ Rourke of Roanoke, Va., a senior majoring in mathematics in the College of Science; and Emily Puzey of Lynchburg, Va., a senior majoring in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The student executive board is made up of five students, all of whom served as counselors for the inaugural year of the camp in 2010. These students will help with training, interviewing, and hiring, and each will serve as a "super counselor" to their respective group during Hokie Camp.

Members of this year’s executive board are Kyle Amonson of Philomont, Va., a junior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business; Brittany Benton of Salisbury, Md., a sophomore majoring in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Emily Brown of Richmond, Va., a sophomore majoring in human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Robert Cary of Roanoke, Va., a sophomore majoring in general engineering in the College of Engineering; and Melanie Celano of Clarksville, Md., a senior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business.

Hokie Camp provides students with the opportunity to learn more about the traditions and values of Virginia Tech, ask questions about life as a Hokie, and meet other new Hokies. There will be three sessions of Hokie Camp this year, running Aug. 8-10, Aug. 11-13, and Aug. 15-17. Visit the Hokie Camp website for more information and to sign up.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.