NU camps offer a taste
of University life © Aug. 16, 2007 Norwich University Office of Communications

Picture of FLC campers.

photo by Jay Ericson FLC campers on the march along the UP.

What’s summer time at Norwich like? According to Kolinalani Lua, who attended three of the summer camps that take place at Norwich, the Northfield, Vt. campus is the perfect place to spend break.

“It’s great,” she said. “I could go on and on about my summer to my friends at home, probably to the point where they would be irritated.”

Lua, who hails from American Samoa, attended Drill Camp from June 27 to July 7, Engineering Camp from July 15 to 21, and Future Leader Camp (FLC) from July 22 to Aug. 4. With her interest in attending a military academy and majoring in engineering, Norwich summer camps gave Lua a chance to experience it all. “It was good preparation to help me see what I was going to go through [as a student] here.”

Drill Camp was a natural choice for Lua. “I grew up knife dancing and drill is very similar.” During the ten-day camp, high school students that are interested in or participate in drill teams at their school can learn how to step up their military drill abilities from members of the award-winning Norwich Drill Team. Beginning each morning with physical training that consists of strengthening exercises, the campers spend the rest of the day learning the ins and outs of inspection, marching, and competition.

I learned a lot of discipline at camp. I got insight into the majority of military life and it helped me with my leadership skills.

~ Kolinalani Lua

“I learned a lot of discipline at camp,” Lua said. “I got insight into the majority of military life and it helped me with my leadership skills.”

After Drill Camp, Lua got a break from the military lifestyle to see what Norwich has to offer on the academic side during Engineering Camp. “Engineering Camp was very beneficial for me because I wasn’t sure what kind of engineering that I wanted to do,” she said. “Now I am confident that it is mechanical or civil.”

The camp, designed to help students decide which kind of engineering appeals to them, is open to rising juniors and seniors. During the week, students attend classes in the morning, and spend the afternoon enjoying all that Vermont has to offer — hiking, tubing, touring the state, and working on a culminating project.

David Parry, a rising high school senior from Valrico, Florida, also spent the majority of his summer at Norwich, attending both the Engineering Camp and Future Leader Camp. “I am looking at coming here, so I thought it would be good to attend camp,” he said. For most people that means buying a plane ticket and paying the camp fee, but for David, it meant much more.

Photo of drill camper and instructor.

photo by Jay Ericson Drill camp instructor Andrea Bryant observes a camper in action.

“I raised the amount it cost me to come to these camps in about two weeks,” Parry said. “I went to people in my church and offered to work for them to raise money.”

For Parry, having the opportunity to experience Norwich before deciding to attend was good. “Engineering Camp showed me the academic side of Norwich,” he noted. “The faculty is good and they really care about what they are doing.” It was also invaluable to him to meet current engineering students who served as staff. “You could talk to them and ask them things and they would spend the time to make sure your questions were answered,” he said. “They would treat you like a friend.”

Both Parry and Lua said they felt that Future Leader Camp was an opportunity to prepare for their futures as leaders. “At FLC, we were able to improve our leadership skills in many different areas,” noted Lua. Designed to develop leadership potential within its participants, the two week camp includes adventure activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, and orienteering, as well as instruction in leadership techniques and problem-solving.

Staffed by Norwich students who are members of the Corps of Cadets, FLC is a glimpse into the military side of the University. “FLC showed me the Corps side of Norwich and how things run, as well as the chain of command,” Parry said. But leadership skills and academics aren’t the only thing that summer camp at Norwich offers.

“If I were to have just come here for one week and only experienced one area, I would only have a partial taste of what Norwich is like,” Lua said. “Coming for all three helped me see the academic side and the extra-curricular side of college.”

Parry agreed, stating that “it was good to get both sides—the academic and the Corps. I also learned that the school has very cool traditions.”

For high school students who want a preview of the college experience, spending the summer at Norwich can offer a feel for what college will be like and a better understanding of the University. And while summer is usually seen as a time to take a break from learning, for Lua, that’s not the case.

“I have just learned so much that I can’t keep it in,” she said.

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