Kids camp an adventure for MSU, Kate Burgess students

They've got the BEAT!

Students from Kate Burgess Elementary School had some fun in the sun in June at a camp designed to BEAT summer boredom and treat the kids to new adventures. The Boosting Exercise and Activity Time (BEAT) camp was not only a priceless experience for the kids, but also a chance for MSU students to practice mentoring and teaching.

Kinesiology instructors Sandy Shawver and Dr. Stacia Miller received a $2,500 grant from the West Foundation Educational Research Center that allowed the camp to be offered free to children nominated by Kate Burgess staff. Children who qualified were those who may have needed guidance in their lives and who may not have had the means to attend other camps. Grant funds also furnished a shuttle from Kate Burgess to and from MSU.

Kids came to the Outdoor Recreation Center for activities that many had never had the chance to participate in before ‑ archery, canoeing, paintball, fishing, geo-caching, navigation and hiking, plus learning to set up a tent and eating some outdoor cooking. Inside the rec center, MSU students led the children in some flexibility exercises, cardio kicks, and yoga moves. The kids received T-shirts and snacks during their camp week.

Approximately 23 MSU students helped with the camp, and received some valuable teaching experience in planning the activities, breaks, rewards, and rules. Ashley Wattenbarger was camp director.

The camp was not just for summer fun. The research will continue in the fall with a before-school fitness program where the elementary school students will be observed by education students for behavior, attendance, and attitude. Miller hopes that the kids who attended the summer camp will step up and be leaders in the fall, in turn improving their social skills and self-confidence.

This continued study of the students is important for accreditation standards and follows MSU's mission as a Council of Public Liberal Arts College. "The benefits for our students are immense," Miller said. "The university is working toward undergraduate research. We hope this will become a way for that to occur."