Baylor Line Camp brings normalcy to tradition

Students take a trip to Independence, Texas, during Line Camp to see Baylor's original home. Joshua McSwain | Roundup

By Tori Templet | Staff Writer

The long-standing Baylor Line Camp tradition for incoming freshmen was held in-person this summer after being online last year.

After facing the challenges of COVID-19 last summer, Line Camp appeared different than normal. The class of 2024 did not get to fully experience the traditions that come with attending Line Camp as a freshman.

Arlington sophomore Aubrey Gilliam, a Line Camp leader this summer, said that after Line Camp got canceled during 2020, she told herself, if she had the opportunity, she wanted to come back and see what it was like in person.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when we went to Independence for the first time, I knew it was going to be a transformative experience,” Gilliam said. “Getting to see the traditions that not only the freshmen class will take part in, but the sophomore class will get to see for the first time, got me really excited for what this school year is going to hold.”

Most leaders and campers were experiencing campus with the most lenient COVID-19 restrictions Baylor has seen in over a year.

“This is what college is supposed to feel like,” Gilliam said. “The next three years are going to make up for that lost time.”

Mission Viejo, Calif. freshman Abbey Freese said finally getting to create friendships with other freshmen was a relief, knowing they have all been going through the same thing.

“Post COVID, I am more appreciative now of meeting people, creating community, and being back in person with everyone,” Freese said.

While incoming freshmen adapt to their first year of college, they are learning how to navigate new relationships in a new place.

Gilliam said that the freshmen are simply happy to be here and that she is proud of them for being open and ready for all the new experiences Baylor has to offer.

“They are so willing to put themselves out there after coming from really difficult situations throughout their senior year of high school,” Gilliam said.

DeLand, Fla. sophomore Caroline Tichenor, a Line Camp leader this summer, said freshmen are grateful because they know what it’s like for experiences to be taken away.

As freshmen prepare for the next four years, lasting friendships and memories will just be the beginning of the experiences that Baylor will have to offer.

“This is their first time being in person for something in a long time,” Tichenor said. “Not only are they excited but just appreciative of how special this tradition is.”