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!

CBS Visits Oglethorpe, Asks “Tough Questions” About the Summer Heat

The summer heat was intense this afternoon—and Atlanta’s CBS affiliate WGCL 46 wanted to know how kids at summer camps are keeping cool.  What better place to find campers than at Oglethorpe, where hundreds of budding athletes train for their favorite sports, including soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and tennis. 

Young campers are interviewed by CBS news.

The CBS news team caught up with the kids at the Peter Howell Tennis Camp, coached by none other than Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame member Peter Howell, who also coaches Oglethorpe’s Men’s and Women’s teams. CBS 46 journalists interviewed several giddy campers, as well as Oglethorpe tennis player Rajiv Dinakaran ’14, who works as an assistant coach at Howell’s camp.

Watch out for the spot on WGCL’s 5:00 p.m. broadcast on Tuesday!

Rajiv Dinakaran '14 gives his expertise on keeping young athletes safe in the summer heat.

"Can I be on TV?" :)