Berry welcomes GHP, cuts external summer camps

Bruno Rosa, Reporter

Austin Drake, Editor

After a 3-year process, Berry College has been selected to host the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) a 4-week summer camp for rising junior and senior Georgia high school students. It is a rigorous academic camp where students attend classes in a specific area of study. 

GHP students may choose a major and a minor to study during those four weeks. These students are selected after being chosen by their high school and participating in several interviews.

Because of this, Berry will no longer host external camps in the summer of 2017. An external camp is an outside camp that utilizes Berry facilities without being sponsored by a Berry employee, such as church associated camps.

“We do about 70 camps and conferences every summer, and this would replace many of those with this one singular camp,” Dean of Students Debbie Heida said.

Berry must first accommodate summer school students, and then the GHP, leaving little room to accommodate other camps.

Casee Gilbert, coordinator of campus and conferences, has worked with Heida for three years. Gilbert said that the reason Berry has moved towards more academic-based camps during the summer is because of the opportunities for future prospective students to come and experience Berry for themselves.

Unlike the external camps, the GHP will not eliminate internal camps or day camps. An internal camp is a residential camp sponsored by a current employee of Berry, such as a one-week high school football camp sponsored by the coaching staff. (A day camp does not require residence halls).

“This summer we will be honoring all of our internal camps, which are mostly athletics,” Gilbert said. “But we will be saying no to all of our external camps.”

By honoring internal camps, Berry will be able to accommodate those employees who have sponsored camps in the past and are still interested in hosting. 

However, those that choose to run their camp during the four weeks of the GHP will be affected. They might not have the same options of dining times or facilities that they had in the past.

However, replacing all external camps with the GHP allows Berry to better focus on one group. This will lead to less wear and tear on facilities and allows Berry to better accommodate the GHP. 

Hosting the GHP has no direct financial benefit; however, if students in the program decide to come to Berry, it would be a great financial and academic benefit for the college, Heida said.

“We will have 650 of the best and brightest students in the state on our campus for a month,” Heida said. “These are the kind of students we want at Berry; they would fit in well with the other terrific students we have at Berry.”

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