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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Camp Wildcat welcomes alumni

    A UA alumnus who was a member the first year of a 41-year-old campus club will return this weekend for the inaugural meeting of its new alumni network.

    Camp Wildcat, a UA club that takes Tucson’s underprivileged kids on camping trips, has thousands of alumni across the nation, some of whom have come together to form Friends of Camp Wildcat, said Casey Edwards, alumni relations director for Camp Wildcat.

    Although this is not a new idea, it is the

    I will be there (tomorrow) morning, looking forward to it. It’s very exciting that it’s still going strong, 41 years later.

    – Jim McGeorge,former Camp Wildcat member

    first time the group has been able to execute it, said Edwards, a junior majoring in Spanish.

    Jim McGeorge, who started out as a camp counselor in 1965, the club’s first year, said he decided to put Friends of Camp Wildcat together as a support organization for Camp Wildcat.

    The first meeting of Friends of Camp Wildcat is in the Agave Room of the Student Union Memorial Center tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

    “”I will be there (tomorrow) morning, looking forward to it,”” McGeorge said. “”It’s very exciting that it’s still going strong, 41 years later.””

    The newly formed group can help out the campus organization in several ways, McGeorge said. Some of those are monetary, but the new organization would also like to donate equipment and supplies for the camps, offer mentoring and advice and provide continuity for members.

    “”Some of our best friends were at UA and Camp Wildcat,”” said McGeorge, who graduated from the UA in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and public recreation administration.

    Camp Wildcat has had a positive impact on the school children of Tucson, he said. Some of the kids who attended the camps have gone on to attend the UA and some of those have turned around and joined Camp Wildcat.

    This is significant because part of Camp Wildcat’s mission is “”to portray college as an attainable goal to underprivileged Tucson youth,”” said Grace Clark, campus relations director for Camp Wildcat.

    Three times a semester, the club takes elementary and middle school children on weekend camping and hiking trips, said Clark, a political science junior.

    All of the children come from Title I schools, which means at least 40 percent of the students participate in the governmental free lunch program, Edwards said.

    Each camp costs between $1,200 and $2,500, depending on how many kids it takes, Clark said. However, the camping experiences are free of charge to the children.

    “”Our annual budget is definitely over $20,000 per year,”” she said.

    The club raises funds through donations and events such as Spring Fling, which has helped Camp Wildcat over the years, according to the Camp Wildcat Web site.

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