Ilisagvik College offers array of summer camps
What would summer be without the summer camps offered by Ilisagvik College? These camps provide fun, adventure and learning in a variety of settings for students from middle school through high school. This year, thanks to the generosity of many donors across the North Slope, more camps than ever are being offered. (Ilisagvik will formally release the names of the donors and thank them as soon as the information on this generous group has been finalized.)
The camps range from Inupiaq Early Learning and Inupiaq Land Use Values and Resources to Climate Change Science in Cultural Context, Arctic Science Research, Native American Art and History and many more. The Inupiaq Early Learning camp for high school students (and a separate camp on the same topic for middle school students) is new to the summer camp programming this year. The Native American Art and History Camp, the Arctic Science Research Camp, the Earth Science Camp and the Photojournalism Camp are also new this year. Many of these camps offer college credits for attendees who successfully complete the program.
The camps will run through the beginning of August. Because of their popularity almost all camps are already completely filled and applications are no longer being taken. Some camps, such as the Inupiaq Early Learning Camps, as well as the Allied Health Camps (for both high school and middle school) and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Camp for middle school have already ended.
According to Camp Coordinator Norman Edwards, members from all of the completed camps participated in a team building activity to teach participants how working together (one of the Inupiaq values) can overcome many otherwise insurmountable problems. According to Edwards, "We had a team building activity where they all had to pretend that we had been hit by a nuclear bomb and the only way to safety was to cross a nuclear river.?They all were given random disabilities... no arms, no legs, deaf, blind, etc. They had to work together to find a way to help each other across.?At first it was difficult for them, but they came together and figured it out in the end.?Many of the kids expressed that this was their favorite activity of the camp." Edwards went on to say that they also had talking circles where they discussed bullying, respect for others, and shared their feelings in general. "Many of the kids opened up and shared stories and tears."
Participants in these initial camps, such as middle schooler Steven Ivanoff of Barrow, said that he wanted to have the option of having the camp to last all summer because it was so much fun. Jenysa Ahmaogak of Wainwright and also a middle school student chimed in that she loved meeting new people and getting to know them. All participants said that making ice cream was especially fun, topped only by getting to eat it.
When asked about the importance of these camps, Ilisagvik President Pearl Brower said, "For many of the younger participants, this is one of the only organized constructive outlets available to them to occupy the long summer days. For the older participants, many of these camps offer them their first glimpse into college life and areas of interest to them when they consider their future after high school. Summer camps are very important because they bridge the gap between high school and college. They create an opportunity for students to begin thinking 'I can go to college. I want to go to college.'"
Although most camps are filled and application dates passed, you can contact Camp Coordinator Norman Edwards at 907-852-1772 or 1-800-478-7337 ext.1772 to find out if there are any openings left or if there is a waiting list in case someone cannot make a camp for which they signed up. The college website contains a complete list of the camps so if you didn't get to one this year, you can start dreaming about which one you'll sign up for next year.
Sarah Martinsen is a marketing specialist for Ilisagvik College.