Long-distance travelers find SCATS worth the trip

By Erika Solberg

This year, SCATS has brought together gifted middle schoolers from 10 different states. The majority hail from Kentucky, and many others have arrived from Tennessee and Missouri. There is also one camper each from Indiana, Alabama, Michigan, and North Carolina. In terms of distance travelled, however, four campers stand out, having journeyed at least 800 miles to be here.

Neva Cline from Pearland, Texas, laughs while listening to a classmate's story during an icebreaker activity on the first day of Acting Monday, June 11. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Neva Cline from Pearland, Texas, laughs while listening to a classmate’s story during an icebreaker activity on the first day of Acting Monday, June 11. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)

Neva Cline is a seventh grader from Pearland, Texas, about 865 miles away from Bowling Green. This is her first year at SCATS.

How did you learn about SCATS?

My mom went when she was a kid. She said, “SCATS is so much fun — you should do it!”

What are you most looking forward to?

It’s a tie between getting some independence and getting to take some fun classes.

How does your family feel about you being so far from home by yourself?

They’re excited because this is my first sleepaway camp. My mom is pretty okay with it, and my dad’s like, “She’ll be fine.” They’re both from Kentucky, and I was born in Lexington.

What’s the most recent book you read that you liked?

This morning I was reading “1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.”

Bella Soares, of Pearland, Texas, works with classmates during From Mars to Mutations on Monday, June 12. The class wrote as much as they knew about DNA before conducting their own study on genes within the class. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Bella Soares, of Pearland, Texas, works with classmates during From Mars to Mutations on Monday, June 12. The class wrote as much as they knew about DNA before conducting their own study on genes within the class. (Photo by Brook Joyner)

Bella Soares is a seventh grader from Pearland, Texas, about 865 miles away from Bowling Green. This is her first year at SCATS.

Why did you decide to come to SCATS?

It’s a unique program, and we don’t have programs like it in Texas. Plus my friend Neva told me it’s really great.

What are you most looking forward to?

The many classes and having a fun time making new friends.

How does your family feel about you being so far from home by yourself?

My dad is not so happy, but my mom’s pretty ok with it. And of course my brother is happy!

What are two things you couldn’t leave home without?

Hair products, and I needed shorts because I heard it was going to be hot.

What’s the most recent book you read that you liked?

“The Scourge” — It’s by the author of “The False Prince” which is also really good.

Lainey Wilemon, of Saint Petersburg, Fla., laughs with her classmate Molly Clements of Villa Hills in The Civil War: Rediscovering a Torn Nation Monday, June 12. The class tested their prior knowledge of the civil war and played a game to get to know one another. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Lainey Wilemon, of Saint Petersburg, Fla., laughs with her classmate Molly Clements of Villa Hills in The Civil War: Rediscovering a Torn Nation Monday, June 12. The class tested their prior knowledge of the civil war and played a game to get to know one another. (Photo by Brook Joyner)

Lainey Wilemon is a sixth grader from St. Petersburg, Florida, about 800 miles away from Bowling Green. This is her first year at SCATS.

How did you learn about SCATS?

My mom teaches at the AP Institute here in the summer. When she heard about SCATS and told me about it, I begged her to let me come because it sounded interesting, and I would be with kids who are like me.

How do you feel about being away from home?

It’s not bad, but I’m kind of nervous. I miss my dog a lot — he’s a boxer, and he’s super snuggly.

How does your family feel about you being so far from home by yourself?

My mom is probably freaking out.

What books did you bring with you?

The Uglies series, and the Harry Potter books.

How’s the food so far?

Actually, it’s really good!

Evie Ellis from Haddonfield, N.J., juggles scarves during Clowning Tuesday, June 13. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Evie Ellis from Haddonfield, N.J., juggles scarves during Clowning Tuesday, June 13. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)

Evie Ellis is an eighth grader from Haddonfield, New Jersey, about 800 miles away from Bowling Green. This is her second year at SCATS.

How did you learn about SCATS?

My parents are divorced, and my dad lives in Russellville, Kentucky. My brother does programs here like Camp Innovate and Super Saturdays.

How do you feel about being away from home?

It’s good. I like the responsibility while not having responsibility.

Was there anything you didn’t like about traveling here?

I had to check my guitar which was kind of hard.

What are you most looking forward to?

I like all the classes; I like walking around; and I like the cafeteria. I’m taking the five-week challenge, so I’m doing VAMPY, too. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends.

Is there anything you’re not looking forward to?

The last day!

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