By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
Behind Founder's Hall, 2009 teen campers return from evening activities
“We have an amazing number of quality people who apply [to be camp counsellor],” she shares.
Hundreds of high-schoolers attend Patrick Henry College teen camps every summer, many of whom list their counsellors as the highlight of their experience. Deming, who served two years in that job and as head women’s counsellor in 2008, says that she “loves camps.
“I love the fact that, along with the great introduction to PHC and its programs, both counsellors and students can use the summer to focus on strengthening their relationship with the Lord,” she enthuses.
This summer’s round-up of camps include: strategic intelligence, mock trial, leadership & vocation, moot court, history, drama, Shakespeare, debate, and art. Strategic intelligence camp, with its week-long simulation and practice missions, is always a highlight, as is Chancellor Dr. Michael Farris’s highly successful moot court camp and the classic two-week debate immersion with PHC’s championship public speakers. Drama provides an outlet for theatrical campers, producing a play in a week, while Shakespeare camp approaches theatre from a more literary perspective, with special field trips to nearby productions.
Some of the camp counselors from 2009: Ryan Gilles, Tia Ly, Elisabeth Long
“Whether you want to go to law school or not,” Guliuzza explains, “mock trial helps with your poise and polish in coaching sports, serving as Sunday School teachers, or in any kind of presentation.”
PHC senior James Mieding, who started mock trial competition with the College’s first team in Fall 2008, reports that, as he learned its specialized techniques, he learned to communicate “quick, concise, precise arguments.” Even more than other debate styles, he found out what it meant to have a group of people depending on his skills.
“I’ve found a great value in the teamwork of mock trial,” says Mieding. “There are six people on your team. If any one is not perfect, it hurts the team.”
“The give and take makes [mock trial] more fun than some of the other kinds of public speaking,” Guliuzza says.
The new History camp will take advantage of the rich tradition of the East Coast to bring the past alive. PHC History alumnus Austin Backus, camp director, plans a trip to Philadelphia, a city of historical importance in its own right, to visit exhibitions on Rome and the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Campers atop the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Another intriguing new addition, Leadership & Vocation camp will introduce young people to the lifelong skills of servant leadership. Political Theory alumna Meredith Schultz, currently Executive Assistant to the PHC President and Provost, is organizing a slate of speakers that includes Dr. Gene Edward Veith, who has spoken and written often on the topic of vocation, and Dr. Mark Mitchell, who directs PHC’s Political Theory track and who often participates in and speaks at conferences for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Schultz is eager for campers to understand how to lead the best they can wherever God places them in life, whether they start their own non-profit organization against sex trafficking or serve in the business world or in their families.
“Sometimes people think that the only significant things are what they can see,” Schultz shares. “God works on a different economy. Often the most significant thing means that we will not be splashed across the cover of the New York Times.”
Along with the normal field trips into Washington, D.C. and other educational excursions, Schultz hopes to arrange a service project for the camp attendees.
“Servant leadership is about being the last person out and washing the feet of ragamuffins,” smiles Schultz.
To learn more about teen camps fees, schedules, and deadlines, visit www.phc.edu/teencamps.