Haylie West has a heart for helping. So it’s no surprise the sophomore from Prairie Grove majored in nursing, just as it’s no surprise she became director of Cub Camp to help more freshmen students become acclimated to college.
Cub Camp is a three-day event held on the UAFS campus for incoming freshmen that introduces them to the campus, faculty, classmates and campus traditions. Entirely led by UAFS students, the camp helps new students create a connection to campus and ease the transition from high school to college.
It was that connection to campus West formed during her own time at Cub Camp that led her to want to become a leader in the planning of future camps.
“Going into college was scary, and Cub Camp made it less intimidating,” West said. “The counselors and directors staff were just so positive and encouraging. They took me on a tour so I knew exactly where my classes were and answered any questions I had about campus. It just really made me feel at home and took the edge off the fear of transitioning to college.”
West will lead the yearlong complex process of planning for Cub Camp, beginning in early October with the interviewing and selecting of director and support staff. From there, West will help plan and lead trainings for staff, overseeing freshmen registration, and planning the camp’s schedule.
While West has a year of hard work ahead of her, she said she was honored to have the opportunity to lead the event.
“This is a really big leadership role. There’s a lot of planning that goes into Cub Camp, and to be able to organize over 400 freshmen students and give them the opportunity to find a home here at UAFS just like I did is pretty awesome,” she said. “A year ago, I would not have imagined myself to hold such an honor. I credit a lot of where I am today to Cub Camp and the opportunities it has provided.”
After graduation, West plans to continue her education to become a campus minister, while also hoping to find employment as a nurse.
“I have a passion for college students, and being one myself has allowed me to see the need for God's love to be revealed to students on a college campus,” West said. “As a counselor, I met many freshman that are some of my dearest friends now, and building those strong relationships are so important. I believe that God has blessed me with the skills needed to be the Cub Camp Director and that this opportunity will not only help to refine my personal leadership skills, but prepare me for what is to come in both nursing and campus ministry.”