On Sunday afternoon, nearly 200 residential campers arrived on the hilly campus of Western Kentucky University, full of anticipation for the three weeks ahead in VAMPY 2016. Campers checked in with their residential counselors, moved their belongings into their rooms, met their roommates, or in the case of some returning campers, reconnected with old friends. After the campers said goodbye to their parents, residential halls met with their counselors to go over the rules and expectations, along with meeting the other kids in their counselor group.
Campers then went to dinner at the Fresh Food Company at the Downing Student Union (where VAMPY campers eat all meals), making new friends, or perhaps meeting up with old friends. Following dinner, campers attended the annual orientation with Dr. Julia Roberts, Director of the Center for Gifted Studies, where they were welcomed to camp and introduced to the counseling staff. They were then split off into groups for campus tours and a collection of icebreakers, games designed to “break the ice,” allowing campers to meet new people.
In icebreakers, the kids participated in games such as duck-duck-goose, cross the line, and even a very competitive rock-paper-scissors tournament. Campers seemed to really enjoy the activities, with many coming out of their shells and contributing positively to the night’s activities. If Sunday night was any indication, the remaining three weeks of camp will be a tremendous environment for academic and social growth, and all of us counselors are eagerly looking forward to what lies ahead!