Forester Camps Firsthand - July 2023

Nicole Manges
July brought new students to Huntington University for Forester Camps

After the success of June’s academic camps such as the School of the Arts Academies and the Veritas Theology Institute, Forester Camps remained highly active in July with a full slate of camps on Huntington University’s home campus. The sciences were particularly well represented, with the Agbioscience Camp, Health Sciences Camp, and Nursing Camp taking place during the week of July 10-14. Each of these camps featured hands-on lab experiences, field trips, and an introduction to college-level science study and college life.

That same week, a Multilingual Learner Summer Camp also took place as well as a camp specifically for youth from the United Brethren denomination. The UB Youth Camp coincided with the United Brethren’s 2023 US National Conference, which took place in Fort Wayne.  

Some of the July camps were completely new to Huntington University, made possible through the establishment of Forester Camps in the past year and the Lily Endowment Inc. grant that helped make Forester Camps a reality.

Campers from the Agbioscience Camp, Health Sciences Camp, Nursing Camp, and UB Youth Camp had lunch together in the Dining Commons on Thursday, July 13, when I caught up with them to get their firsthand impressions of the week’s events.

By then, the campers had gotten to know each other pretty well and were excited about the learning opportunities they had already experienced, from soil testing labs to occupational therapy field trips.

They had this to say (lightly edited for clarity):

“Something I know I’ll remember for years to come is the people I got to meet that are passionate about the same things I am.”

Briar – Agbioscience

“The experience I will remember from camp years from now will be working alongside the great nursing leaders and just all of the life they pour into my life.”

Carla – Nursing

“My favorite thing is I’ve learned quite a lot during our activities and meetings/labs. I’ve also met a lot of very nice and good people here at HU.”

Carson – Health Sciences

“I really loved being able to see the camps and meeting the teachers in the field I want to be in. It was cool to do a lot of hands-on activities.”

Elisabeth – Nursing

“My favorite thing I have gotten to do this week was ribbon soil samples and tell whether the sample is sand, silt, or clay. After finding the main category we used a triangle chart to determine the exact soil type. This is something I may be looking into for my future career!”

Lane – Agbioscience

“I’m happy to have learned even just the tip of the iceberg of veterinary practice and anatomy, and getting to see real animals made it that much better.”

Julia – Agbioscience

Before I came “mostly I wanted to know if a career in the medical field was for me. Also, I like to know how things work, and the body is high on that list. This camp was very helpful with both.”

Anika – Health Sciences

I found many of the UB Youth campers gathered around a table listening to Rev. Dr. Kent Eilers, professor of theology at HU, continue a conversation that had begun when he gave a camp devotion earlier in the day. Some of the campers had intentionally come to sit with him during the lunch hour, and one student named Hannah remarked that discussion time with Eilers was a highlight of the week. Fellowship, connection, and community worship were themes of the UB Youth campers’ experiences.

As UB Youth camper Raychel noted:

“This week I have loved interacting with people my own age and worshipping Christ. I have also loved the discussions we have had.”

Reflecting on the whole experience, Agbioscience camper Kyah saw the long-lasting value of the week’s adventures:

“Honestly I have loved absolutely everything I’ve done here this week. This experience is something that will stick with me for a while.”

Written by
Nicole Manges