Study Abroad with the Camp Adventure Program
Are you interested in spending your summer abroad? Do you enjoy interacting with children? Then you might be interested in becoming a part of the Summer Camp Adventure Program through the Hampton University International Office.
Nearly 25 years ago, the Camp Adventure Program blossomed out of a partnership between the University of Northern Iowa and the Department of Defense to provide camp counselors on foreign U.S. military bases. The program has now expanded to include students from more than 80 colleges and universities. Students are assigned to foreign military bases throughout the world, serving as teachers or counselors at child development centers, teen centers, and day camps or as lifeguards.
Last year, five HU students participated in the program for the first time. The program was so impressed with the students, that all five have been invited to return to this summer.
“Emails flooded our office immediately to get these students to return because of how impressive they were,” said Marcia Jackson, director of the HU International Office.
“I loved the experience,” said Jasmine Watson ’08 and ’09, who was assigned to serve as a preschool classroom teacher at a child development center in Germany. This summer, Watson has been assigned to work in Belgium. “This opportunity changed my perspective on teaching.”
Watson has implemented some of the techniques she learned from her experience into her real-life classroom at Nicholas Orem Middle School in Hyattsville, Md.
The program not only had an impact on HU’s students, but on the parents of the children they taught.
Tieandra Lewis ’08, who is currently earning her graduate degree at HU, was assigned to a child development center at Naval Base Rota in Rota, Spain. One parent, Tierra Alexander, was so impressed she wrote, “I have witnessed Ms. T’s [Lewis] ability to motivate the children by singing and dancing. She made a room of three to five-year-olds stop fighting, crying, playing and come to attention with a fun dance … she is great!”
The Camp Adventure Program also offered the students the opportunity to venture to parts of the world they may never have seen otherwise. Watson traveled to Paris, France; Munich, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic and Venice, Italy. Lewis traveled to Morocco, where she rode camels and held a large snake, something she never thought she would ever do.
“I think this expanded my horizons, seeing not just the Spanish culture but the military culture too,” said Lewis, who will be traveling to Japan this summer. “I’m now looking at doctoral programs for international relations.”
“It was excellent that they were able to help provide a service to our servicemen and women abroad; for them to know that they have college students teaching their children 21st century learning,” said Jackson.
HU International is looking for prospective students for this summer’s program. The program is open to all majors. Students with experience in childcare and education have a higher chance of being selected by Camp Adventure. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Summer Camp Adventure Program, please call Marcia Jackson at (757) 728-6914 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for on-campus training is Feb. 15. Those interested in off-campus intensive training can still apply through May. However, international placements come on a first-come, first-serve basis.
-Alison L. Phillips