Creating a new tradition, Maclay hosted their first ever all-day adulting boot camp for the senior class. This event consisted of life lessons for the seniors to take with them throughout their journey of life, especially their college years. The boot camp was held on Wednesday, Apr. 28 and started in Langford Hall as upper school history teacher Stephanie McCann, the leader of the event, gave an overview of the day. Seniors were then divided by their homerooms into four different cohorts. Each cohort attended all four of the sessions led by professional and experienced guest speakers in a variety of different fields: Financial Literacy, Healthy Choices, Self-Defense and Legal Issues. 

Financial Literacy was led by Don Douglas, the Financial Center Manager of First Commerce Credit Union. In his talk, he discussed the steps one must take to properly budget, build credit and protect their identity. He helped students understand the importance of planning out and organizing their finances to properly keep track of their spending and make sure they don’t fall into debt. By starting to build their credit now, seniors will have better opportunities in the future when it comes to making big purchases, like a house or car. 

“My favorite session from today was Financial Literacy,” senior Britton Robinson said. “It taught me more about building credit as an adult and why that is important for the future.”

Head track and field coach, Angie Milford, led the Healthy Choices session. As a mother to one of the seniors, she felt it was important to teach the importance of keeping active, eating healthy and staying safe in college. To stay fit, she recommended that the seniors do some sort of cardio workout four to five days a week, along with two to three days a week of resistance training. Her advice was to remind the students to build muscle, yet do what is best for each person’s specific body type, without comparing themselves to others. She then went on to discuss the benefits of making healthier choices when it comes to dieting, like choosing to eat more produce than fast food to lower their chances of gaining the freshman 15. Lastly, Milford focused on the different levels of alcohol percentages in a human body and the negative effects it has on a person physically and mentally.

The third session was Self-Defense with Brad Fantle, owner and head instructor of the local Tiger Rock Martial Arts Studio. The seniors were able to get physical with one another, in a safe and fun manner. They were taught how to defend themselves when attacked or threatened by another individual. Fantle made each student perform different self defensive moves with a partner of their choice. Learning how to properly kick, punch, block and retreat, the seniors are now well equipped to get out of any dangerous situation they may face as adults. 

“It was nice to have a break from sitting down in all the other sessions and to be given the opportunity to learn how to better defend myself if ever needed in the future,” senior Ramsay Grant said. “I actually learned a lot of moves I never knew before and that may actually help me down the line.”

Lastly, Ashlei Richardson, an attorney at the Public Defender’s Office in Tampa, led the Legal Issues session. She lectured the seniors on making smart decisions and told them the top legal issues college students typically fall victim to. Covering sexual battery, driving under the influence (DUI), child pornography and hazing, the seniors are now fully educated on what to do and what not to do in certain situations they may face in the future. Richardson also reminded the students of their Miranda Rights and when to use them. This session was to help keep the now adults, as most of the seniors have just turned 18, out of legal trouble. 

To end the day, the seniors were all talked to by the school nurse, Nancy Teems, on Medical Topics 101. This informed them on how to stay safe and properly treat themselves or others if they have any form of injury. After Teems spoke, the students were dismissed for lunch. Maclay provided Chick-fil-A, snacks and drinks set up by a few volunteer senior parents. 

The purpose of the adulting boot camp was to provide important tips and tricks for seniors to properly navigate their lives in a more independent manner, while keeping safe, healthy and out of trouble. 

“This boot camp taught me many different things that I will be able to apply once I’m in college,” senior Jackson Brown said. “I specifically liked how the speakers kept it very real with us about the world we live in and the importance of our decisions now that we are adults.”


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