SJU 2017: Day One – Let’s Begin Camp!

Today at St. John’s University, BestPrep staff, student staff (returning campers), and volunteers put together string bags full of goodies and prepared the student binders, name tags, and dorm room keys. Around 10am, the campers began to arrive at St. Mary Hall with their parents or on a bus. Staff members and volunteers excitedly welcomed the campers and their parents as they received their supplies and bags for the upcoming week. With the smiles on their faces, each camper was looking forward to learning what the MBV experience is like. After checking in, campers visited their dorms, unpacked their belongings, and headed to the dining hall for a delicious meal.

Once lunch ended, parents were welcomed to stay for the opening session with Adam Cohen of UnitedHealth Group. Cohen first shared about his personal experience working with UnitedHealth Group and his advice about the workforce. The audiences felt reflective upon Cohen’s words and connected them to their life-decision making. Not only did Cohen introduce his experiences and advice in life, but he also engaged the audience with an activity that pushed us out of our comfort zone to talk to five different people within fifteen seconds. The outcome of his activity surprisingly changed the atmosphere. At the beginning, some campers were not as engaged, but with the activity the audience felt comfortable being around each other.

After Cohen’s speech, everyone found their assigned group (or “company”) for the week and met their fellow company members and CEOs and RBLs (Resident Business Leaders). It was time for parents or guardians to say their goodbyes and drive back home. With the energy rising, the CEOs and RBLs took their campers and walked to their company rooms. There, the campers played icebreakers and got to know each other.

A couple of hours later, everyone from camp gathered in the auditorium again for a shareholders address. The speaker was Anton Vincent who works for Moxie Capital. Vincent introduced his topic about the aspects of entrepreneurship and advice that will strengthen each companies planning and succeeding.

The last special activity was called “Junk Night.” Junk Night is a traditional activity when BestPrep staff members host the first night of MBV. Companies were in different rooms with other companies and chose a representative to pick a bunch of “junk” such as a random ball or a cloth. After that, the companies created an infomercial that revolved around the “junk” that they have chosen to the whole group! During the session, the RBLs judged each group’s infomercial act and score which act was the best.

Later tonight, the camp was treated out with delicious vanilla ice cream from the dining hall for an ice cream social and networked with each other. With a fantastic turnout today, we can’t wait to see how everyone is going to grow even more!

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