Teamwork is not something you learn in a book — it is learned through experience, collaboration and the overcoming of obstacles.
For the nearly 140 incoming freshmen at this year’s El Paso High Cub Camp the word “obstacle” took on a very literal meaning.
Students scaled walls, bridged pools of water and even crawled through tunnels at the Fort Bliss Leadership Reaction Course as part of the two-day camp, which welcomes incoming freshmen to the Lady on Hill.
Assistant Principal Roseanna Lindley organized the camp as a way for students to get familiar with the school before classes start on Aug. 22
The first day of the camp students took a crash course on what being a Tiger is all about. They participated in a cheer rally, learning the school fight song and later breaking into different groups to create their own team chants.
“They start out quiet because they are not used to a pep rally on this scale, but at the end they are all cheering and really feeling that Tiger spirit,” Lindley said.
The Cub Camp incorporated engaging activities throughout the campus so students learn the campus while they are having fun. Activities included television show-inspired games like Wheel of Fortune, Survivor and an Amazing Race scavenger hunt.
“Over the course of the two days they get to feel what it’s like to be a high school student and be on campus. You have to break down some barriers,” said Cyd Goldfarb, El Paso High’s college readiness coordinator.. “That way on the first day of class they don’t feel completely lost.”
The second day of the camp, students learned some valuable lessons through real-life obstacles at water leadership course. The students worked together to brainstorm creative ways to perform specific tasks, like crossing a body of water with a crate of ammo or breaching a wall with limited resources and manpower.
For freshman David Ochoa it was tough battling his fear of heights when it came time to cross a narrow plank, but cheered on by his fellow classmates he made it across with no problem. Everyone cheered when the last of the group made it over the pool of water with less than a minute left.
“It was exciting,” Ochoa said. “I was scared at first, but it was a good experience and great feeling knowing that I accomplished that.”
El Paso High senior and volunteer Ana Moreno was impressed.
“I don’t think we completed this obstacle my freshman year,” Moreno said. “It was awesome seeing them work together as a team and how they communicated to complete the task.”
New friendships and bonds are forged by the end of the leadership course, but no one escapes the water.
“It is kind of like an initiation into El Paso High,” Lindley said. “Everyone goes through the water and comes out a Tiger.”