By: Emily Neideck
Indiana Wesleyan hosted the first annual Wildcat Summer Academy on campus last week. In previous years, IWU hosted individual camps for different academic divisions. Now, the camp has combined to engage students interested in Nursing, Art, Theater and Music. Over 50 students attended the camp, participating in different academic activities throughout the day, and then, they all joined together at night to worship. Cindy Ketcham, Associate VP for Academic Operations, stated, “We have students from all contiguous states and many from Indiana.”
Keith Brakel, Head of Conference Services, originally had the idea for the camp. IWU hosts many spiritual-based summer camps, so Brakel thought that having an academic-based camp would be a good idea. Soon after, IWU’s academic departments were approached about being a part of the camp. Ketcham said, “Many of these students are attending because they love these areas of study and want to develop their skills, but some of them are trying to discover if this is what they actually want to do.”
Many faculty and Indiana Wesleyan students are involved in shaping the campers’ experiences. Some musicians and artists were also available for private lessons. Faculty presented themselves as guest speakers, and conference services members smoothed out all details. Finally, an IWU ministry team, Amplify, served as camp counselors and worship leaders for the week.
Campers, themselves, had only encouraging things to say about their week at the Wildcat Summer Academy. Many said they were attending the camp to learn more about their selected future field of study. They were interested in solidifying their thoughts on their chosen majors. Others said that they planned to attend Indiana Wesleyan and wanted to get a sneak peek at life on campus before they officially arrive.
Caleb Huntington, a Theatre camper, said, “Seeing the different Theatre viewpoints is amazing. I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Katie Wampler and Dr. Steve Wood, and I’ve been learning more about onstage and offstage aspects of Theatre. We have been working with Commedia improvised mask performances, and I am really expanding my talents and trying new things.”
While the camp focused on chosen fields of study, it also had deeper intentions. “This is an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in their area of passion, and it is also an opportunity to learn more about life calling.” IWU’s Life Calling department was actively involved in the Wildcat Summer Academy, helping students better understand God’s will for their lives.
If you are interested in attending the 2018 Wildcat Summer Academy, contact Academic.Affairs@indwes.edu. To view more about the activities of the 2017 Wildcat Summer Academy, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9uBE61DF2s&feature=player_embedded
Written by Emily Neideck, a writer for the Alumni Center and a junior Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others.