Carolina Kickoff, a long-running tradition at UNC for incoming first-years founded in 1946, will be held remotely this year because of COVID-19-related concerns.
On July 7, admission decisions for the program — typically held as a three-day in-person camp — were released, Carolina Kickoff co-director Jessie LaMasse said, and campers were informed that the program would be held virtually.
This year, camp will be a one-day virtual event, held on Aug. 8, LaMasse said.
Despite challenges, CK leadership is working to create an interactive and engaging online experience, she said.
“We’re prioritizing the things online that can create involvement for campers,” she said. “This is a space to create friendships and create community.”
They will hold follow-up Carolina Kickoff meetings so campers can continue to build relationships and have conversations, she said.
“These relationships will be more than a one-time relationship and more like a support group they can come to throughout the semester as they’re dealing with things,” she said. “They can get connected and stay involved in the things that they’re passionate about.”
LaMasse and co-director Blake Glenn made the decision to go remote after discussing the equity issues that having an in-person camp would create, as Glenn said different factors like socioeconomic status could prevent some campers from being able to attend in person.
“We decided to just make it one day online so that we could really make the most of the time we had and get the most diverse camper body possible,” he said.