It would only be fitting for the opening day of the Summer Camp for Academically Talented Middle School Students to be the hottest day of 2016 so far on Western Kentucky University’s campus, with a record breaking dry heat of 93 degrees Fehrenheit. However, despite these sweaty conditions, the campers’ spirits and overwhelming positivity proved victorious over the forces of nature.
Following their arrival, campers were subject to their first dinner at WKU’s Downing Student Union and an invigorating student orientation inside the Mass Media Technology Hall hosted by SCATS’s program and camp director, Dr. Julia Roberts. In this orientation, students were provided a break from the infernal sunlight outside and given an introduction to the 20 counselors and two head counselors, as well as a reminder of the rules and expectations set in place by The Center for Gifted Studies for SCATS 2016.
Following the SCATS orientations, campers were taken by their counselors on a tour of WKU’s campus, highlighting the locations of the four classes they take every day, covering subjects from chemistry to clowning. While walking through campus, new campers found a whole new meaning to WKU’s Hilltopper mantra, scaling the summit of campus to reach Snell Hall and Thompson Complex Central Wing.
Immediately after the campus tours, students and counselors alike assembled on WKU’s South Lawn, adjacent to Guthrie Tower, for ice breaker activities, helping the campers old and new make connections with their groups on the first night. Counselors led campers in name games, tag, and duck duck goose, all to facilitate interaction between students. Despite the bright sun earlier in the day, the setting sun provided the perfect climate and backdrop for the activities.
The first Sunday proved a great first day of camp and all of us counselors look forward to what the next two weeks hold.