Real Survival Tips From Real jCamp Students

You can never fully know what to expect when you come to a program like jCamp. Experienced participants offer advice to newbies. JCampers have been through three days of navigating a college campus and pushing themselves to learn new editorial, writing, photography and designing skills, while still managing to have fun. There are definitely tricks of the trade that should be known in order to ensure that jCamp will be the best possible experience. Get inside the heads of veteran and first-time campers from 2012 in this guide to surviving jCamp.

Laughing during lunch on the second day of jCamp, Sam Smith and Taro White take a break from their track’s activities. Socializing at lunch allowed students to meet and interact with each other while enjoying Virginia Tech’s top notch food. (Photo by Deepa Shivaram).

Hang out with everyone. Try to have a good relationship with many different people.”
Sam Smith
Huntington High School, (’13)

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“Make sure to meet and make new friends as quick as possible.”
Nick Sobel
Walt Whitman High School, (‘14)
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“Be adventurous… you only live once.”
Cameron Wood 
Rockbridge County High School, (’14)

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“Bring something to ride. Walking sucks.”
Taro White
Stafford High School, (’14)

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Cameron Wood & Rachel Tanner interacting in the dorm (Photo by Alexander Caton).

“Definitely have a friend come with you or someone you know. Also, pay attention to your surroundings or else you will get lost.”
Rachel Tanner
Rockbridge County High School, (’13) 
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“Put yourself out there; make new friends.”
Yasmine Maggio 
Herndon High School, (’13)
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“The classes are long, so be prepared.”
Kathrine Hall-Wurst
Loudon Valley High School, (’14)
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“It’s a good experience if you are looking to better your staff editorial leadership.”
Mackenzie Nicely
Rockbridge High County School, (’13)
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“Meet a lot of people. You can have a lot of great experiences with them.”
Josh Wallace
Chantilly High School, (’13) 

Josh Wallace and the rest of his Editorial Leadership Track participate in an icebreaker game the first day of Jcamp. (Photo by Olivia Ballard).

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“Lock your room.”
Brandon Lee
Freedom High School, (’13)

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Don’t try to find your way around campus in the dark.”
Agrima Poudel
Freedom High School, (’13)

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“Have a good relationship with your roommate.”
Laura Spitalniak
South Carrol High School, (’15)

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“Bring lots of soap.”
Clayton Keating
Chantilly High School, (’14)

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“This is a well-run camp: educational but fun.”
Wil Friedman
Rockbridge County High School, (’14)

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“Great opportunity to become an editorial leader.”
Alex Caton
Douglas Caton S. Freeman, (’13)

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“Figure out the area code.”
Allie Zaleski
Kettle Run High School, (’15)

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“Shyness is not an option.”
Kayla Sharpe
Paul VI Catholic High School, (’13)

Getting ahead on her editorial for the jPaper, Kayla Sharpe interviews Sam Smith about his school newspaper’s funding and its ties to censorship. Many students reported they raised money for their publications in a variety of ways.
(Photo by Deepa Shivaram).

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