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BJU hosts growing summer EDUcamps

Kids participate in Golf Camp. June 2018, Photo by Elaina Goodman.

Bob Jones University’s EDUcamps hope to see nearly doubled attendance this year due to the creation of EDUcamp Junior and the addition of new high school camps.

The University’s new EDUcamp program, EDUcamp Junior, will begin this summer and will focus on ministry through academics. EDUcamp Junior will be assisted by a smaller group of BJU education students. The original EDUcamp features over 40 individual camps. These include camps focusing on education, criminal justice, media, computer science, the fine arts, aviation and more. The University’s music and art camps have run the longest and typically attract the highest numbers.

Last summer, over 1,700 campers attended EDUcamp, according to Steve Kopp, director of the program.  With the creation of new high school camps and EDUcamp Junior, this year’s camps are projected to draw between 2,500 and 3,000 children.

EDUcamp Junior will replace the Bob Jones Academy day camp for elementary and middle schoolers. While EDUcamp Junior may not be as in-depth as the high school camps, Kopp said EDUcamp Junior will copy the focus on exploring talents and unearthing interests seen in the high school camps.  These camps are open to any interested children in elementary or middle school or both.

The original EDUcamp is what Kopp referred to as a “career exploration camp.”   From culinary arts to media, from criminal justice to nursing, campers can experience what a career in those areas might be like. “Its goal is to expose high school students to possible career pathways that they are considering,” Kopp said.

EDUcamps, Kopp said, help campers answer the question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” and save them time and money in the future by providing answers before college. Highlights of the program include the health science camp and nursing camps This year also sees the addition of a new culinary arts camp focused specifically on baking.  The University also offers Bruins camps that emphasize specific disciplines of various sports including soccer, shooting, golf, volleyball and basketball. Junior Bruins Camps on soccer, volleyball, basketball and golf will be available for elementary kids.

In addition to the faculty who teach at the camps, a group of 40 BJU students will also be assisting with the programs. The student workers for the high school camps typically do not teach in any capacity but help to monitor and guide the high schoolers during their time at camp.  “They’ll be assisting, but it’s more about building relationships and showing high schoolers what Bob Jones [University] is all about,” Kopp said.

The various camps will go on for 15 weeks of the summer. EDUcamp Junior starts on May 13 and run until August 16. The high school EDUcamp starts July 7 and runs to July 26.