Solving crimes, saving lives, fighting fires or building a rocket to launch into the sky are just a few of the experiences children can explore during summer enrichment programs at West Virginia University.
All summer, youth camps and other events held on WVU’s campuses across the region expose children and teenagers to what it’s like to be in Mountaineer territory.
Among the summer fun: Dance Academies, Healthy Kids Camp, Engineering Challenge Camps, Forensic Science Summer Camp, The Mountaineer Music Leadership Academy and countless 4-H and sports camps. Not only do participants walk away from these camps with a newfound sense of skills and fundamentals, but a lasting impression of the “can do” Mountaineer spirit.
They also develop friendships and memories that tie their camp experience with WVU, ultimately serving as an effective recruiting tool for the university, says Stephen Lee, interim associate vice president of enrollment management. A first-hand look at WVU has a huge impact on students’ perceptions of the University and their interest in enrolling full-time after they graduate from high school.
“You have a lot of in-state students who visit who think Morgantown is the big city,” Lee said. “Out-of-state students have different perceptions of what Morgantown might be. Once here, they are influenced in a very positive way by the experience.”
But the opportunities extend beyond WVU’s main campus in Morgantown. The WVU Extension Service is known nationwide for its strong camping program, and hosts 4-H summer camps and events in every West Virginia county, as well as at Jackson’s Mill. Some of the camps include training junior firefighters, science and technology, and nutrition and wellness.
Because the number and variety of camps and programs continue to grow, WVU’s Academic Innovation has created an easy-to-use website at K12.wvu.edu for parents and educators to find enriching opportunities for young Mountaineers. Activities can be searched by age group, date, location and topic. “We hope that families, teachers and community members will use this resource not only to plan for a busy summer,” said Greg Strimel, director of K12 Initiatives in Academic Innovation, but also to see the programs that WVU offers year-round.”
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