Make Lasting Friendships, Connections and S’more at Camp Matador

  • Students sit on an oversized red chair and pose for a group photo at Ponderosa Pines Camp.

    Camp Matador attendees gather around for a group photo at Ponderosa Pines Camp. Photo courtesy of CSUN Outdoor Adventures.

  • Two rows of students are lined up to take part in an outdoor team activity at Ponderosa Pines Camp.

    Campers line up to participate in a team-building challenge at Ponderosa Pines Camp. Photo courtesy of CSUN Outdoor Adventures.

CSUN third-year student Rebecca Grinberg, an environmental and occupational health major, got a head start on success thanks to the friends and mentors she made on a university-sponsored camping trip she took before starting CSUN in 2017.

After the bonding trip, known as Camp Matador, she even felt inspired to return the following year as a camp counselor, in hopes of positively impacting campers like herself.

“Camp Matador helped me get off on the right foot by allowing me to grow within a small community on a very large campus,” Grinberg said. “I grew excited to attend CSUN and started viewing the school as the next big chapter of my life. I became motivated to get involved on campus and make the most out of my experience at CSUN.”

Incoming CSUN freshmen now have their chance to attend Camp Matador, an outdoor experience that is dedicated to making the transition to college a smooth one.

Campers participate in a variety of team-building challenges and outdoor activities such as ziplining, swimming and intramural sports that provide them with the opportunity to connect with their peers.

The four-day, three-night trip will take place in Ponderosa Pines Camp, located near Big Bear Lake, from Aug. 9-12. The cost of the camp is $165 and includes air-conditioned cabin lodging, meals, transportation, activities and a camp T-shirt.

“We want students to feel less alone when they start their career here at CSUN,” said Christine Upton, Outdoor Adventures coordinator. “We try to accomplish that by building a sense of community, support and friendship.”

The sense of belonging created at the camp translates into future academic success. Camp Matador participants showed a lower likelihood of being on academic probation at the end of their first year than non-participants, according to preliminary data gathered by CSUN Institutional Research on Camp Matador and Student Success.

Incoming freshmen who are interested in attending are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as space is limited and remaining spots are expected to fill quickly. Applicants will be accepted until Camp Matador 2019 is sold out.

For more information about the camp or application process, please visit the Camp Matador website.

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