camp mack photo 2
President Dave McFadden played four square with students at Manchester’s annual Camp Mack Day.
Photo provided by MU

First Year Students Reflect on First Camp Mack Day

Anna Wilson

Last Thursday, Sept. 9, was Manchester University’s annual Camp Mack Day. For the last two times, the actual date has been a secret: students are notified at 5 a.m. that classes are canceled for the day. Then they either ride the bus Manchester provides or carpool with others to spend the day at Camp Mack, enjoying the lake and camp activities.. Camp Mack Day always falls on the first two weeks of school to give returning students an easy transition into college. It also lets first years meet other students.

Not all first years were a fan of Camp Mack being so secret. “I would have preferred if Camp Mack Day was planned ahead,” said Kora Beasley. “It switched up the dates on the syllabus for objectives in a few classes.” A lot of individuals did like the concept of it being a surprise but would have liked some type of heads up.

Still, the morning of Camp Mack was very exciting for some of the first years. For example, one group got up right at 5 a.m. to see if it was the day they’d been waiting for all week. When they learned it was, a lot of those first years had to let everyone know with excitement that today was Camp Mack. One girl even went around the whole hall screaming, “it’s Camp Mack Day!!”

A lot of people decided to find their own way to the venue. “I preferred to drive and carpool with a couple of friends to minimize the car traffic,” said Ruby Rusk. “I think it was also safer to travel to a new destination with another person.” Again, a lot of students liked the idea that Manchester offered busses for people that don’t have cars, but it was not necessarily their cup of tea.

When students arrived at Camp Mack, the real party started! They could explore, go in the lake and canoe or swim, play spike ball, basketball, archery, or climb ropes, to name a few activities. Some students played volleyball against the professors. Others enjoyed going on the rope obstacle course and seeing how friends that didn’t really care for heights manage it. Other students loved playing Gaga ball with their professors.

After laughing and sweating, students were served lunch at noon. Students said that there wasn’t that big of a range of food, but they liked that because it reminded them of summer camp. A couple of first years appreciated the s’mores. Milton said that she loved the fact that she could eat a s'more at 10 a.m. and not get judged.

Overall, the first years really enjoyed their first Camp Mack experience. A lot of them are talking about how and Camp Mack will be next year. The only thing they would change about Camp Mack is giving at least professors a heads up that Camp Mack Day is coming soon, just so they can plan ahead of time. Plus, it’ll challenge our professors to become good actors.