For some this may sound like a rigorous day’s work; however, for 70 young men this is just one day out of this year’s two-week-long Foundation Camp at Georgia Highlands College.
The camp is for boys age 10 to 14 to help them realize their full potential.
“We want them to start thinking of themselves as having a possibility of going to college,” Jon Hershey, professor of English at the college. “We give them academic subjects that might excite them.”
The Foundation Camp is put on through a partnership between Georgia Highlands College and 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia.
“We have grown each year. The first year, it was one week long and we had 25 students,” explained Greg Shropshire, president of 100 Black Men of Rome-NWGA.
Students are selected for the camp on a first-come, first-serve application process. Hershey explained that more students could attend the camp if the program received more money.
The camp is funded largely through private donations but also receives some grant money.
The camp seeks to combine athletics, academics and social lessons.
“We combine familiar activities with things they’ve never done before,” said Hershey. “It’s a huge confidence builder.”
“When you’re learning to do something new, you still have fun,” explained camper Rufino Perez, 11.
Shropshire said the camp will also feature a “Gentleman’s Club” lesson which teaches campers how to introduce themselves, shake hands and tie a tie.
Some boys are returning to the program. LaDrell Cammon, 15, explained that he is working as an assistant counselor during his third year at the camp. He said it feels good to be a positive role model to younger kids.
“It’s fun and educational. You stay busy all day,” said LaDrell.
For information about how to help Foundation Camp, contact Hershey at firstname.lastname@example.org.