Central gears up for summer camps

Mikaila Wilkerson, Staff Reporter

During the summer, Central is home to many different camps including sports camps, math camps, science camps and more, all to show people coming in what Central has to offer them.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal grant program that provides services to low-income-family students in middle school and high school to help prepare those students for the chance to attend college. The program consists of a seven year grant that starts when the students selected are in the 6th or 7th grade.

“GEAR UP encompasses STEM and CWU,” Stacey Ferris, Scheduling Coordinator at the SURC information center, said as she explained that GEAR UP is pretty much the parent program of the other, bigger camps that are held during the summer.

GEAR UP follows the selected students for seven years and helps them to figure out their future plans during their senior year of high school or their first year of college, depending on the grade they were in when they signed up for the program, according to Kelly Quirk, the program coordinator for GEAR UP.

“One of our main goals is that they’ll become Central students,” Quirk said.

Quirk said the main purposes of the camps and programs being held in the summer, especially by their department, is to get potential students to be familiar with Central’s campus and to see what they can get out of being at Central.

“We don’t make any money on it [the camp]. In fact, we spend a lot of money on it,” Quirk said with a laugh.

GEAR UP does not make any revenue from the camp programs that they put on, according to Quirk. Other sorts of camps such as the school’s sports camps receive money to go towards the respective sports that the camps are put on for.

Other programs put on by GEAR UP include “Stemapalooza,” which is a program consisting of four different camps, a CSI camp at Foothills Middle School in Wenatchee, two Zombie Apocalypse camps with one being in Wenatchee and a catapult camp in Chelan.

“The off-campus [camps] are about 20 hours total,” Quirk said. “Our kids put them together.”

Central students put together and design the different GEAR UP camps.

According to Quirk, there are GEAR UP programs all around the country.

Quirk said that last year, one of GEAR UP’s programs was ‘Jumpstart’ that ran for four weeks where students earned seven free college credits.

Rachel Crimp, Central’s conference program manager, said that they too, do not receive revenue for any other programs as well. Any money that the Conference Program receives goes towards covering the department’s expenses, according to Crimp.

The Conference Program puts to use the residence halls that are emptied at the end of the school year to house the visiting camp students, Crimp said.

According to Crimp, the Conference Program starts working with their clients on some of the important details from the get-go to provide the housing and useful resources for these groups. The Conference offices also take people’s registration forms at the start so that the groups can all concentrate on coordinating all of the camp activities.

Not all of the camps that are put on during the summer are able to collect revenue, but they all have one goal in mind. That goal is to bring in potential Central students, show them the various opportunities that Central can offer them and hope that they will see Central as the next best step in preparing for their future.