Socially distanced duck camp was a success

Nicholas Ratcliff 

Multimedia Journalist  

Tarleton State University has recently finished its third duck camp since they switched the location to on campus this summer due to the coronavirus outbreak. Tarleton made the transition to help reduce the risk of its campers catching the coronavirus while still being able to experience some of everyone’s favorite Tarleton traditions. 

While many current students have had their own duck camp experience, Lizzie Wood, a current Tarleton Transition Mentor decided to become a TTM after the impact that her TTM had on her and her group while she was going through duck camp. 

Photo Courtesy of Lizzie Wood’s Facebook page.
TTMs Lizzie Wood and Devin Hugh show off their painted overalls.

When asked about this transition, Wood has this to say, “This year has really put into perspective that duck camp can be wherever we want it to be! There were definitely some benefits to having it on campus though! For example, a lot of campers hadn’t visited campus before in person, so they got to explore campus and get a better understanding of where everything is! Also, each group is named after a tradition, so some of the groups were able to stop by the tradition their group was named after and take a picture with it, like the Bandstands or the Ultras! Lastly, the campers got to snakedance (the social distancing version) down Rudder way after the duck camp yell contest and beat the drum in the amphitheater by the dining hall just like homecoming week.”  

Photo Courtesy of Devin Hugh’s Facebook page.
The Purple Pancakes and Silver Bugles celebrate after winning the yell contest.

On top of changing the location of duck camp, Tarleton also implemented new rules and guidelines to help lower the risk of its incoming students of catching the coronavirus.  

Every leader and camper was given a duck camp face mask and asked to wear it during camp. During Waddle Olympics campers were even given a disposable face mask to wear as the participated. 

Photo Courtesy of Megan Somerville’s Facebook page.
Tarleton State University President Dr. James Hurley gets his official Duck Camp overalls and celebrates with the other TTMs while wearing Tarleton themed masks to ensure everyone’s safety.

Wood stated, “Since we stayed in Traditions North and South each camper had their own bedroom as opposed to using a retreat center where everyone slept on bunk beds in cabins. The dining hall made sure to have the tables set up according to the state guidelines. They sanitized each table after each use. The TTM Leadership team was running around all over campus sanitizing rooms before and after sessions. Everyone was good about maintaining a good amount of distance between each other.”  

Even though Duck camp looked different than it ever has before, Wood said, “I know the class of 2024 missed out on a lot of their senior year of high school, and I know they can’t go back and get that experience. But all of the TTMs, Leadership Team, The Student Directors, Mike, Kristy, and Madi are so committed to giving them the best Duck Camp experience we could. We alwayssay ‘it’s their birthday, not ours,’ so no matter what’s going on with our lives, during camp we put the campers at the forefront of everything we do. Now more than ever the class of 2024 needed that birthday party and I believe we gave them that!”  

So, while duck camp may have taken place in a different location Tarleton was still able to provide campers with a quality duck camp experience while following recommended safety precautions.  

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