SCATS is a great opportunity for young bright minds to grow. Along with the knowledge they gain from classes, they gain the life skills and resilience that come from living away from family and with your peers for two weeks in a college-like setting. There are other great opportunities awaiting these campers outside of SCATS, and we presented those to the campers.
Head Counselor Mario talked to the kids about VAMPY, a camp also hosted by The Center for Gifted Studies, that he attended for four years. It’s a very similar camp to SCATS, but there are some differences. One is the age range. While SCATS takes 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, VAMPY is open to 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th graders. Also, instead of taking four different classes for two weeks, campers instead take one class for three weeks. Yes, just ONE class! Mario said that his VAMPY classes gave him opportunities beyond that. For example, because of the mathematics class he took one year, he was able to receive credit for Algebra II, which made him eligible to apply for The Gatton Academy, which was also discussed.
The Gatton Academy is an opportunity for Kentucky high school students to live and take classes at Western Kentucky University to receive dual credit during their junior and senior years of high school. The students live in the building the campers are staying in right now! We recommended that if students have enjoyed camp, The Gatton Academy is a great chance to further that enriching educational experience away from home. A few of our counselors are Gatton alumni and were able to talk about their time there and the opportunities it gave them.
Lastly, Dr. Roberts presented service learning opportunities. Established by Drs. Bharat and Bharti Mody, they hope to pass on their passion for serving and volunteering in their communities to bright kids like our campers. Two competitions are being held for young people to develop their volunteerism project or expand an existing one. Winners of this competition would receive a cash prize.
SCATS has been an incredible opportunity for growth for so many of our campers, and we hope programs like these will give them a chance to further their learning beyond camp!
– Wade V., counselor