WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
In 1993, Sean Petrie was a student at the University of Texas. He was a Plan II student, a University Ambassador, and generally very involved in student affairs. Like many of us he got his inspiration from a lot of different places. One of those places being Texas A&M.
What inspired you to create Camp Texas?
Oh man, I hate to admit it, but the idea actually came from A&M's "Fish Camp". I had a good friend at A&M, and she was involved with Fish Camp. I saw these cool traditions and programs that A&M had, and thought, "we should have that." Next thing we knew, the first camp happened! It was only one session, and between 30-40 incoming students. Back then, we had NO IDEA it would even last another year, much less still be going today -- way bigger and stronger than we'd ever have imagined.
What are some things that you learned from Camp Texas that you still carry with you to this day?
The importance of teamwork and simply asking for what you want. If you have an idea, there's a huge power in believing that it can happen, and then making it real.
Why is Camp Texas such an important part of the students' first introduction to UT?
I came to UT from a small town-and it was intimidating. How would I find a place to belong, among 50,000 students? It seems weird, but a school that size can be more difficult, in terms of fitting in, than a small college. It took me a while to find some good groups. With Camp Texas, we were hoping to make that transition -- finding that place of belonging -- much easier, and happen much sooner. I think, if you don't already have a set group when you enter UT (or even if you do), Camp Texas can help make that next step, from high school to college, a bit less intimidating. And a bit more fun.
Why is it still important to give back and still be involved in Camp Texas?
So much of who and where I am today, I owe to UT and Camp Texas. I have this awesome job teaching at the law school. I get to write fiction and type poems all over Austin. There's no way I'd be doing those things without the skills and confidence I gained from being a UT student and from being part of Camp Texas. It's important for me to give back, as a way of continuously saying thanks, and to hopefully make it possible for the kids coming into UT, each year, to have the same opportunities.
Today you can find Sean in the UT Law School or out and about in Austin writing fiction and improv poetry.