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Discovering the benefits of Discovering College

Kaitlyn+Wilson+%0A%2811%29+outside+of+Harford+Community+College.++Each+year+she+volunteers+to+help+at+Discovering+College%2C+one+of+the+camps+offered+at+HCC.
Kaitlyn Wilson 
(11) outside of Harford Community College.  Each year she volunteers to help at Discovering College, one of the camps offered at HCC.

Kaitlyn Wilson (11) outside of Harford Community College. Each year she volunteers to help at Discovering College, one of the camps offered at HCC.

Aimee Wilson

Aimee Wilson

Kaitlyn Wilson (11) outside of Harford Community College. Each year she volunteers to help at Discovering College, one of the camps offered at HCC.

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Discovering College is a great two week program held at Harford Community College every summer, Monday through Friday, for Kids in 4th to 6th grade.  HCC has been offering summer camps for kids since the early 1980s, however the first camps were mostly all sports based.  Discovery College was started in 1986, and the Kids on Campus camp, which is the same camp for younger kids, started two years later.  It offers a large variety of classes, both educational and fun, like Engineering and Graffiti Art.  There are also multiple sports classes students can take, like Team Soccer and Tennis Time.  Leanna Gefrich, who is responsible for organizing the camp and making sure everything works out, says, “The main goal of HCC Kids and our camp programming is to entertain, enrich, and educate campers in a fun and safe environment.”

The camp is not just fun for the campers, but for the CITs (counselors in training) and Counselors.  Not only does it look good on college and/or Honor Society applications and is a great way to get many service hours, but it is also wonderful experience, especially if you are interested in a career working with kids.  Kaitlyn Wilson (11) has attended the camp every year from 4th to 6th grade and before that went to Kids on Campus.  She is now been a CIT for the past couple of years, and says her favorite part of it is “getting to know all of the kids.  I’ve met so many unique and interesting kids by being a CIT, and they made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.”  The Counselor position is a great first job; Leanna describes it as “a more relaxed atmosphere where mistakes aren’t viewed as a job ending, but rather as a way to start a conversation about how the situation could have been handled differently.”

The camp starts at 9 am and is over by 4 pm.  However, the camp offers an Early Bird daycare type program for students that have to arrive before 9, and a Wind Down from 4- 5:30 pm.  Each day Counselors and CITs take the campers to 4 different classes, with lunch in between.  There are Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and different classes for Tuesdays and Thursdays.  To attend the camp as a camper the fee is $400 and is $270 for CITs and Counselors.  This amount includes lunch every day and CPR certification for the volunteers.  Sadly, if you planned on being a counselor or CIT you had to apply by May 1st, but there is always next year to send in an application.

By the end of the camp the campers feel so inspired by what they learn and can’t wait to come again the next year. Leanna says, “I find it gratifying when [the campers] find that they can do something they didn’t think possible because they have been encouraged by their instructor, other campers, and counselors.”  The camp is such a heartwarming and positive experience to be able to be a part of.

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Discovering the benefits of Discovering College