A New Take On an Old Line
Incoming students embrace creative ways to connect
For the past two decades, Baylor Line Camp has been a quintessential component of the new student experience during which newly minted Bears connect more deeply with the University and each other as they begin their Baylor stories.
In the wake of COVID-19, New Student Programs, led by Nathan Shelburne, MSEd ’07, reimagined plans for a digitally held and remotely hosted version of the event. Baylor Line Camp - Home Edition featured two-day, small-group sessions combined with intentional, spirit-filled online engagements and additional offline activities. A Baylor Line Camp activity box was mailed to each participant’s home with activities and tools to help them engage.
Sessions were held July through early August, and students chose the session that best fit their schedules. Home Edition culminated Aug. 12 with a special Baylor Line ceremony featuring President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., football Head Coach Dave Aranda and other guests. Participants received Traditions Boxes with their Line jerseys inside and, together, put them on for the first time.
“The Line jersey is a cherished symbol representing a student’s induction into ‘That Good Old Baylor Line,’” Shelburne said. “The Line is about the relationships and experiences that bind the Baylor Family together. Our hope is that Home Edition allowed incoming students to discover the meaningful connections and friendships that are hallmarks of the Baylor experience.”
More than 2,500 students from 46 states and 25 countries participated in Home Edition — roughly 80 percent of the incoming class. This represented a higher participation rate than previous Line Camps held on campus.
Successful execution of Home Edition relied on the individual efforts of Line Camp student leaders and program coordinators. Senior elementary education major and Line Camp program coordinator Jordan Ng has worked with Line Camp each of the past three years.
“Everyone’s expectations were exceeded,” Ng said. “There was a large shift in attitude as proven by all the positive feedback that we received. We were able to reach such a large group of students, including those who may not have attended in a traditional on-campus setting.
“It’s fascinating to think how fast strangers can become a family even over a virtual platform.” Ng said.