Welcome to Bear Down Camp


Save the Date

Sunday, August 18th - Wednesday, August 21st, 2024

Early Move-In: Saturday, August 17th, 2024 

Bear Down Camp registration is closed

Thank you for your interest in Bear Down Camp 2024. 

We will send reminders and updates on when and how to register for camp. Check out our FAQs from BDC 2023 for more information or email us at beardowncamp@arizona.edu with any questions you may have. 

We can't wait to welcome Bear Down Camp 2024 to the UArizona Family!

Apply for the BDC 2024 Team Here!   


Bear Down Camp is a Four-day transitional camp for incoming freshmen or first-year students of the University of Arizona. Camp is held annually the week before fall classes begin. While at camp, incoming students will be led by student counselors to participate in various activities that help students acclimate and transition to a University environment. Students will learn about academic and on-campus resources which include involvement opportunities, educational and health resources, history and traditions, and general information about the University of Arizona. This is where first-year students gain their first college support system, friendships, and network. 

Please email beardowncamp@arizona.edu with any questions.

Bear Down Camp is a five-day camp for freshmen hosted by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the student government on campus. BDC gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to learn about the heritage, traditions, and history of the UA. Campers are also taught about things to do on and off campus, how to get involved, and gain information vital to a successful first year at the university. The workshops provided at camp teach students about the plethora of clubs and organizations on campus as well as where to go and who to talk to for help. Furthermore, campers are given the opportunity to become familiar with the university and its prestigious facilities before stepping foot in a classroom. ​​

Through Bear Down Camp, campers will have the opportunity to meet students before the first week of school, giving them a strong network of peers to kick start their college careers. One student wrote, "I gained a group of close friends with which to start school and a familiarity with the school's songs and traditions that I would never have [obtained] otherwise. Essentially, I got the perfect preparation for starting college in a new state.” ​

Bear Down Camp is a wonderful and unique experience for freshmen at the University of Arizona. Campers can currently be seen throughout the UA community and are truly making a difference on and off campus because of the techniques and friendships that were made during BDC. One camper comments on receiving "friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Bear Down Camp helped me break out of my 'bubble' and get connected with campus life through amazing school pride and spirit” ​

Our Mission

The mission of ASUA’s Bear Down Camp is to provide a supplemental and integrative introduction to the University of Arizona for incoming freshmen students in order to improve their connection, retention, and overall success. BDC provides necessary tools while also supplying students with an opportunity to cultivate valuable relationships with fellow Wildcats and faculty early on during their college careers.

Core Objectives and Values

  • INTEGRATION & TRANSITION: Bear Down Camp strives to help incoming students transition from high school to college by educating Gatitos on how to succeed in both a social and academic collegiate environment.
  • CONTINUITY: Bear Down Camp provides a support system for all their campers, as well as a network of mentors and friendships they can turn to for the duration of their college careers. ​
  • PRIDE & TRADITION: Bear Down Camp is built on the foundation of pride and tradition. We teach important aspects of our heritage and traditions as a University. ​
  • INVOLVEMENT: Bear Down Camp believes involvement is the key to success at the university level, providing Gatitos with ways to get involved and excel in their field regardless of their interests.
  • EXCELLENCE & SUCCESS: Bear Down Camp is committed to giving every student the necessary tools for their road to success. The goal is to answer every question before setting foot in a classroom. ​
  • UNITY & INCLUSION: Bear Down Camp creates a sense of community at camp with the idea that no matter the individual, everyone is a Wildcat and has a place on campus.

Bear Down Camp offers a fee waiver for student campers with financial-need. If awarded, student campers may receive a partial or full waiver dependent upon financial need and applicants. To be considered, all waiver applications must be completed by April 21, 2024 by 11:59 P.M. Mountain Standard Time. 

Due to limited funds, submitting an application does not guarantee that you will receive the requested amount. The waiver only covers the maximum student camper payment fee of $260 or partial amount of $130. Student campers are responsible for paying any remaining program charges that have not been waived. 

To be considered for the Bear Down Camp fee waiver, parents and students must apply for financial aid using the 2024-2025 FAFSA form as well as complete and sign the following application by April 21, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

Fee Waivers will ONLY be available for participants who demonstrate financial need.  

Apply Here

Ashni Shah

Bear Down Camp Executive Director

Email: beardowncamp@arizona.edu

Advisor: Talia Myrick, tmyrick@arizona.edu & Carol Barnette carolb5@arizona.edu 

Instagram: @asuabdc


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Bear Down Camp Information & FAQ

Find out answers to most of questions related to Bear Down Camp.

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Bear Down Camp Staff

Our BDC Gatos are SO excited to meet you!