Georgia Highlands College (GHC) recently held its annual GHC Foundation Camp for boys 10 to 14, which focuses on foundations in athletics, academics, brotherhood, self-respect and higher education.
Held at the Floyd Campus, the camp not only gives youth an opportunity to let loose, play sports and enjoy the outdoors, but campers also learn about leadership, making a good first impression, how to tie a tie, sign language and much more. In addition, campers made a trip to the Northside Swim Center and toured the Pirelli Tire facility in Rome, learning about potential future careers.
Campers like 14-year-old Landyn were able to enjoy activities like kayaking on Paris Lake – but not without a lesson in water safety.
“We learned how to use the kayak and how to be safe,” Landyn said. “The most fun I’ve had this week was probably kayaking.”
In addition, Landyn participated in activities like Leadership Academy, which target character building.
“At Leadership Academy, I learned a lot about character and making a good first impression,” he said.
Chris, age 12, has been attending GHC Foundation Camp for the past three years. He said the connections he makes with campers and counselors brings him back – along with activities like soccer.
As a third-year camper, Chris was able to apply what he has learned over the years and help others during character-building activities.
“Some of the campers were having trouble learning to tie a tie because it can be confusing, but once you learn to do it, it’s simple,” Chris said.
While Chris has a little time left before he heads back to middle school, he already plans to apply a concept central to the camp’s mission to the next school year – accountability.
“I’ve learned when someone tells you to do something, even though it might be frustrating, it’s best to just do it,” Chris said. “It’s also important to hold other people accountable for their mistakes so you don’t get in trouble because of what they do.”
The camp, which is one of several partnerships between the 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia and Georgia Highlands College, is funded by generous donors and the GHC Foundation, giving students the opportunity to attend the camp free of charge, including transportation and a breakfast and lunch.
“I am extremely proud that in our 17th year, we were able to break attendance records,” Foundation Camp Director and GHAME Coordinator Evan Snelling said. “We hosted more than 130 campers throughout these two weeks, and we sought to provide opportunities for these young men to grow as leaders and learn new skills daily.”
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