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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Camp Wildcat takes students back in time

    About 30 UA students and 50 elementary students traveled through time this weekend, visiting the Colosseum in Ancient Rome and cavemen from the ice age.

    “”Voyage Through the Ages”” was the theme of the three-day trip with Camp Wildcat, a nonprofit student-run organization that takes Tucson youth on weekend camping trips, said Matt Golab, a political science sophomore and one of the directors for Camp Wildcat.

    UA students try to encourage elementary and middle school students to think about college through different activates while they are camping.

    “”Our mission is to promote college as an attainable goal,”” Golab said.

    Inspiring students to go to college is done implicitly rather than directly, he said. By focusing on various academic topics, the students are empowered to think independently and view college as a positive path.

    This weekend students from Holaway Elementary School went to a campsite near PeÇña Blanca Lake in the Coronado National Forest for their adventure.

    The camp activities centered around the “”Voyage Through the Ages”” theme, including a guest speaker, Rhonda Gillett-Netting, an anthropology professor.

    Gillett-Netting brought replica samples of human, gorilla and chimpanzee bones for the campers to look at and learn from. The campers assembled the bones, creating a human skeleton.

    “”It turned out perfectly,”” Golab said. “”They were so excited to touch and pass around the replicas.””

    The students also created their own skits, games and pictures, and made their own time capsules by writing messages and drawing pictures that were placed in decorated bottles.

    Through activities, Golab said, he and other Camp Wildcat counselors hope to give the kids general information about college.

    Camp Wildcat chooses Title I schools, in which at least 40 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch programs.

    The counselors try to impact the students’ lives by focusing on college as a positive choice for their future.

    “”I think spending time with all of us, and the fact that we have a diverse group of volunteers, the kids get to hear about the types of things we study, and they get to hear what college is like from college students, so that plants the idea of college in their heads at an early age”” said Jesselyn Melcher-Post, a senior studying Spanish and general biology and one of the directors for Camp Wildcat.

    “”We try to relate to the kids on their level,”” Golab said. “”I have enjoyed helping them understand that they can change the way their lives are going.””

    Katie Paulson, Camp Wildcat’s camp coordinator and a senior studying English, said she has been doing Camp Wildcat since her freshman year.

    “”I enjoy being able to work with youth because sometimes in college you get so caught up with homework and meetings and deadlines that you forget how important being a mentor is,”” she said. “”The kids help you shape your perspective while you shape theirs at the same time.””

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