When I was a senior in high school, and considering my options for college I distinctly remember my adviser talking to me about Auburn, and she said “whatever they do over there in that town, they are doing it right, because everyone loves it!” Well, I started to think differently after attending Camp War Eagle (CWE).
Camp War Eagle (CWE) is often seen as “a right of passage” for recent high school graduates to enter into the college world. I have heard mixed reviews from other Auburn students about their experience with Camp War Eagle, and I believe that I am in the majority of students who did not enjoy it. The main reason why I did not enjoy CWE was because I thought I was a big “hotshot” high school graduate, who was ready for independence. Camp War Eagle treated me like a child. Now having bashed something Auburn— Camp War Eagle, I want to clarify that Auburn University has single handedly been the best experience of my life.
On the drive home from Camp War Eagle, I remember complaining about the long weekend. My parents ranting and raving about how much they enjoyed CWE quickly overshadowed my negativity. So, I always wondered what did the parents experience that I didn’t? I didn’t understand what they were bragging about.
Recently I interviewed Auburn alumni Mrs. Murphy who took her daughter Martha Ann Murphy to CWE session three. First, Mrs. Murphy explains how Auburn had nothing like CWE when she attended Auburn. She had to learn about the meal plan, classroom buildings, how to register for classes, etc… from her older brother who attended Auburn. Mrs. Murphy liked going through Camp War Eagle—the Parent version because she was able to learn about free student tutoring, all the organizations, transportation, the Tiger Card and meal plans. Mrs. Murphy even describes it as being “information overload,” but is very thankful that Auburn supplied them with a Tiger Traditions booklet. She loved being able to meet other parents of freshman that were experiencing the same things. Mrs. Murphy loved being able to come back to Auburn, and says that her “whole personality changes in a good way” when she enters Lee County. Mrs. Murphy loved her years at Auburn, but was concerned because her daughter went to a small private school in Atlanta. She had concerns that Auburn might be too overwhelming and big for her. Now after having visited Auburn with her daughter, she feels much more confidant and says “CWE makes the large campus have a small feeling.” Mrs. Murphy said her daughter loved her Camp War Eagle counselor, and is so thrilled that she has already made new friends with other incoming freshman.
Now looking back on it, Camp War Eagle may not have been the most enjoyable weekend, but it truly did benefit me. It gave my parents confidence in Auburn University, and I think it was a way for all of us to ease into the separation of me moving away. Camp War Experience was my first glimpse into Auburn and the Auburn Family, and I should have appreciated it as Mrs. Martha Murphy says “there is truly something special about the AU Family!”