By Chelsea Rankin
Patrick Henry College
Campers gave creative and humorous presentations at a local nursing home. Photo credit: Alicia Constant
Fifteen year old Isabelle Napier characterizes her week at PHC’s speech camp as a time of new beginnings.
“The week was wonderful,” she said. “I found people going through the same thing as me. I’m not quite as alone as I thought I was.”
PHC wrapped up its weeklong speech camp with Ethos Publications by visiting an assisted living home where campers presented their speeches to eager listeners.
“Instead of ending the week with a competition, we redirected the focus from competitive to a community service outreach,” teen camps director Stephen Williams said. “When you learn public speaking skills, there’s more going on than just competition. The kids could focus on being excellent, but not being better than somebody else.”
The camp was mostly comprised of kids who had never done competitive speech and were looking to learn more about public speaking, said counselor Iain Armstrong.
Christian Arnold, age 15, attended the camp because he didn’t know anything about competitive speaking and wanted to learn how to write speeches. He believes the camp broadened his horizons and gave him the tools he was hoping to gain.
He has previously attended strategic intelligence camp, moot court camp, and leadership and vocation camp.
“It’s worth coming to any of the camps,” he said. “A lot of camps teach you how to do stuff, but here you learn and then you put it into practice.”