The idea of summer camps on a college campus is not unique to Geneva College, but is done with a lot of thought and care. The faculty and staff who sponsor these camps do so out of a desire to see the larger Western Pennsylvania community enriched because of them. The camps offered at Geneva cater to students interested in a number of different areas.
An exciting offering this summer is the Summer Reading Camp hosted by the department of education. Dr. Adel Aiken, Education department chair and reading camp organizer, sees the benefits of this camp as twofold. She says, "The purpose of the camp for current students in the master of reading program is that it gives them practice working with students, but the camp also serves the community with effective instruction at an affordable price." The students receive one-on-one tutoring from current Geneva graduate students who have experience in making instruction fun as well as beneficial.
The Geneva College Musical Theatre Camp is taking place for the second consecutive year. Student′s ages 12 to 17 are being instructed in a number of different acting and vocal skills by Geneva staff as well as other directors in the Geneva College Henry Mancini Musical Theater program. Louise Copeland, music professor and director of the camps, says, "The purpose of our musical theatre camp is to showcase Geneva′s interest in the arts and promoting emerging artists in the local community." Students seem to be taking notice. The camp has almost doubled in size since last year.
"The students who come to camp end up becoming friends and support one another′s different theatre performances throughout the school year," Copeland continues. "It is a great way for students, who are home schooled or from local private and public schools to come together and connect over the arts."
There are a number of athletic camps for local students to be involved with at Geneva as well. The men′s and women′s basketball teams are sponsoring Above the Hoop Basketball camp, the football team is holding Homeboys Football Camp and the men′s and women′s soccer teams are hosting The Geneva Soccer Academy.
Gary Dunda, the men′s soccer coach and director of The Geneva Soccer Academy is excited about the opportunities his camp provides. He says, "The academy will be a great way to bring local students to Geneva′s campus. They will be able to see an example of how Christ′s love is shown here." The sports camps also provide quality instruction. Students are coached by the athletic staff at Geneva and are exposed to many of the same drills and training tools used for Geneva′s intercollegiate athletes.
Dunda notes, "We use the same strategies as we would with our own players. Students will grow as players while at camp."
The Let′s Play Sports Camp is another option for students who are interested in activities and games, but not as interested in becoming an expert in one particular sport. Dunda, who is also leading this camp, says, "We want to provide a time for students to come and just be a kid. What matters is participating and competing." Students will learn new games and be able to experience God′s love from caring coaches and staff.
Geneva College has many gifted faculty and staff who serve the needs of the student body nine months out of the year. It′s impressive to see that some of these talented men and women choose to use their gifts and abilities to serve the local community during the summer months by sponsoring camps on our campus. They help young people learn new concepts and hone their skills. Most importantly, they demonstrate to the community members who attend how Geneva integrates Christian faith into all areas of life. This joining together of quality programs and genuine care has proven to be a winning combination for both Geneva and its summer campers.
- By Jonathan Ingraham (MAHE ′13)