Former Summer Camper Returns as OU Student

Ben Hirsch is a rising freshman who recently graduated from Duluth High School near Atlanta.

Every summer Oglethorpe hosts hundreds of kid campers who are practicing their sport, perfecting their craft, or honing their music skills.  But, it’s not every day that one of those campers becomes an OU student. 

Ben Hirsch attended the Peter Howell Tennis Camp when he was just 12 years old—and this fall the rising freshman art major will return to Oglethorpe in his new role.

Initially, Ben didn’t expect Coach Howell, who heads up OU’s tennis teams, to still remember him from the camp six years ago on OU’s tennis courts. “I was surprised [because] I was one of a thousand kids [that are in] his summer camps each year. I didn’t expect him to remember me at all.”

Peter Howell, head coach of the tennis teams at Oglethorpe, leads the Peter Howell Tennis Camp, one of OU's annual sports camps. Coach Howell is a Georgia Tennis Hall of Famer and a member of the Georgia Professional Tennis Hall of Fame.

“I chose Oglethorpe first and foremost because the general atmosphere… is better than any of the other schools I applied for.  [They] didn’t seem nearly as interesting as Oglethorpe… I [also] really wanted to play college tennis and Coach Howell seemed very interested in my playing for the team.  Once I knew that I was going to have a spot on the tennis team I made up my mind to go to Oglethorpe.”

Ben played tennis all four years of high school, and he looks forward to improving his game with the Petrels and maybe even returning to the camp one day as an alum-coach.

By the end of July, Oglethorpe will have hosted 16 summer camps, giving young campers the opportunity to experience the Oglethorpe campus and work with professional instructors in many different sports, including lacrosse, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and football. 

Learn more about OU summer camp offerings!

2 thoughts on “Former Summer Camper Returns as OU Student

  1. I love this story. Awesome article, Chloey. awww little baby Stormy Petrels! I’m glad he came back, and this proves that our summer camps are very important to our OU community.

    Keep up the blogging!

    – Kris

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