Lessons a Campfire Taught Me

Have you ever spent an afternoon constructing a 3-foot tall tower of flames out of styrofoam, tissue paper, and hot glue? If you answered no, then I’d say you’re missing out.

I was lucky enough to be one of the Discovery Guides that got to plan the nightly events for the first week of the program. And before I say anything else, I have to give a shout out to Daisy and Chris who planned them with me, because we worked really well as a team and the events we worked on couldn’t have happened without them. From the very beginning we all had a lot of great ideas, and working to make just a few of them happen has been one of the best parts of Sooner Discovery for me.

After much trial and error and an idea or two that never got off the ground (I’m looking at you, Puppies and Pancakes themed party) we had a great lineup for the week with a scavenger hunt, a hearty game of group charades, and to finish it all off, the pièce de résistance, a campfire night complete with s’mores around a real campfire! And by real, I mean a leaning amalgamation of craft supplies topped with some Sterno canned heat to roast the marshmallows.

Campfire 2

Katie and Peyton roasting mallows at the Sooner Discovery campfire.


Campfire 1

Sooner Discovery Guides, Chris and Connor, telling ghost stories by the campfire.

I’d like to say that the campfire night was my favorite event solely because of how much fun I had planning it and working with the other guides executing it, but that’s only a part of it. That event, four days into the program was the first time I saw the students break out of their shells a little. Sitting there in the rock garden on the stone benches, eating s’mores, listening to students and discovery guides alike playing guitar and telling ghost stories, we really started to feel like a family. Even students who had spent most of the week in their rooms studying showed up to roast a marshmallow or two, laugh, and relax with their new friends.

Sooner Discovery is about more than just an academic program to earn credits before being a full-time student. It’s also a place to grow and experience a taste of college life, replete with all new friendships and life goals.  If the campfire night taught me anything, it’s that even complete strangers can start to become great companions in just a few days under the right circumstances. Of course, a 3-foot tall tower of flames made from styrofoam, tissue paper, and hot glue doesn’t hurt.


Alex R

Language Arts Education

And Women’s and Gender Studies, 2015

Norman, Oklahoma

Campfire 3

Discovery Guide, Chris, roasting a mallow while listening to the scary ghost stories.


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