Believe it or not, summer at Saint Vincent College is not just for summer classes, business hours and Steelers Training Camp. Starting in May and running through June and July we have a slew of children’s camps ranging from sports to religion. We regularly host camps that include lacrosse, basketball, volleyball, soccer, youth groups, challenge camp and crossroads. These camps are each attended by anywhere from approximately 30–200 children who are ready to experience life on a college campus. Younger children might come just to enjoy their certain activity, while older kids may be considering Saint Vincent as a future home. No matter the camp or the reason, Event and Conference Services makes sure that these kids have a safe, fun learning experience that they can be excited to tell their friends about when they get home.
During their time here at Saint Vincent, children get to do a multitude of different activities. They can use our athletic fields, the outdoor basketball court, the indoor court, volleyball nets and pool; once we even brought in sand to create an outdoor volleyball court! Groups are able to reserve these fields for various games and activities that they may choose during their stay. Many groups who are not involved with sports still have free time to play and run around, while sports groups typically use the facilities for training. Sometimes groups take day trips while they are here. We recently had a group going to Idlewild! This makes it fun for the kids to get off of campus for a little while and enjoy some new surroundings, especially for groups that aren’t from the area.
Not only do these groups get to run around and have fun, but they actually learn something while they are here. Whether it is a sports camp using our campus to enhance their skills and get a taste of collegiate sport, or a youth group using our facilities to practice their beliefs, our school is helping them learn. I know that I am blessed to be a student here and get the education and opportunities that I do. Being able to see others in the community experience what that is like is incredible.
Maybe their time here will impact them enough to remember us later when choosing a college. Perhaps it will influence them to keep working hard, learning and having fun in the process. Who knows? Maybe we will see some of these kids doing great things and know that we may have had a small part in paving the way toward their success.
Saint Vincent has pushed me, as well as plenty of other students, to chase my dreams and to work hard for what I want. Even just a small amount of time here can do that to you. The kids who attend these camps, many of them year after year, are leaving with more than just a week of training or practice. They are leaving, each time, with a bit of Saint Vincent and our way of doing things.
The Saint Vincent campus completely comes alive when these camps are here. All of our athletic fields are used, the cafeteria is full and people are exploring. Coming onto campus in the summer can sometimes be lonely. There are not always people here, walking around, playing on the fields like there are during the school year. When these camps come, it’s as if the campus has a pulse again. There is happiness and fun all around. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, kids are laughing and running around and the weather is gorgeous. I’ve never seen the campus so beautiful. Though these camps can at times become stressful with check-ins, check-outs, room assignments and more, it’s so joyful seeing potential SVC students learning, having fun and bringing life to our campus. Our staff here is proud to make that all a possibility.