Student Counseling and Psychological Services: Mov’in through the summer

Published: June 17, 2021

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While campus life slows down during the summer months, Student Counseling and Psychological Services keeps campus active through the Camp War Eagle Parent Run and Get Mov’in with Moose and Nessie.

This year marks the 24th year Doug Hankes, director of Student Counseling and Psychological Services, faculty and staff lead parents in a three-mile scenic run across campus for the Camp War Eagle Parent Run. Highlights on the run include the Memorial Garden, the historic Old Rotation, South Donahue Residence Hall, Plainsman Park, Campus Recreation, the Village Residence Halls and other campus landmarks.

When Hankes returned to his alma mater in 1998, he noticed the Camp War Eagle bus tours and thought, ‘why not try a running tour?’ Unsure of what was to come, Hankes gave it try. Now, the Camp War Eagle Parent Run is a highlight of the freshman orientation program.

“They [parents] really appreciate the idea of seeing the campus in a different way,” Hankes said. “They also always express thanks for the effort to do something unique.”

Each Camp War Eagle session, the run begins at 6 a.m. outside the Melton Student Center at Starbucks. According to Hankes, the average number of runners is around 15-20, but there have been as many as 50. Also joining each run is Eric Smith, director of Health Promotion and Wellness Services.

Through collaboration with Health Promotion and Wellness Services, First Year Experience and Parent and Family Programs, Hankes has contributed to the unique and unforgettable experience Camp War Eagle brings to students and families.

Throughout the summer months, students, faculty and staff also have the opportunity to move about campus through Get Mov’in with Moose and Nessie, another outreach program of Student Counseling and Psychological Services. The three-mile walk around campus with therapy dogs Moose, a 13-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, and Nessie, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever and German Wire-Haired Pointer cross, on Mondays at 7 a.m.  

Both dogs are on their second careers after retiring from being detection dogs for the university’s Canine Performance Sciences Program.

The weekly walks provide positive physical and mental activity for attendees.

“There is extensive research that links exercise to positive mental health,” Hankes said. “It specifically is effective for anxiety and depression-like symptoms.”

Get Mo’vin with Moose and Nessie takes place throughout the academic year for those who want to take part. When asked why someone should participate, Hankes said, “You get to walk on a beautiful campus with beautiful dogs. What’s not to like? Conversations are different and more relaxed when you’re moving your body.”

To learn more about these outreach programs and Student Counseling and Psychological Services, click here.

Submitted by: Payton Beck

Camp War Eagle Run