More than two dozen eighth-graders from across the state have descended on the UNCG campus June 18-20 for a three-day, two-night immersion in college life.
The new GEAR UP leadership camp at UNCG is a partnership between the university’s Department of Counseling and Educational Development and GEAR UP NC, a federally funded program to help kids from disadvantaged school districts envision themselves as college students. Campers bunk in a residence hall, eat in the dining hall and explore the campus.
On day one, the campers — from Rockingham, Yancey, Warren, McDowell and Pamlico counties — did team building exercises in Foust Park, taking advantage of large oak trees to shade them from the summer heat. At one point, they put on blindfolds, relying on their peers for guidance.
Chris Graham, one of the camp counselors, watched them with a smile. “They’re an energetic bunch,” he said. “There’s a lot of excitement. For many of them, it’s their first time on a college campus.”