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Camp lays foundation for success

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From dissected worms to how to be a leader, Foundation Camp provides a wide array of subjects for young campers to study.

The camp, which runs for two weeks, focuses on alternating between sports, academics and creativity, according to Greg Shropshire, camp administrator and one of the founders of Foundation Camp.

“We can offer a subject the campers have already had before but in a new way,” Shropshire said.

The Foundation Camp began its 12th year this week. The camp is hosted by partners Georgia Highlands College and 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia for boys between the ages of 10 and 14.

The boys are split into groups based on age and then participate in a rotating schedule with a new class or activity each day. On Thursday the campers split into their five groups and spent the day doing a variety of activities. One group of campers spent some time in the Georgia Highlands College science lab watch­ing lab assistants show them the biology of dissected worms, crayfish, amphibians, birds, fish and mammals. Another group gathered around an outside pavilion to make tie-dye camp shirts to take home. Some went to play basketball while others attended an anger management class taught by Elizabeth Snelling, who has a background as a school psychologist.

According to Snelling, the class is important because it can save young men from a lot of heartache in the future. The classes focused on how anger is a secondary emotion, and had counselors stand up and share some of their stories with the young campers. The camp also offers a leadership class led by Evan Snelling, brother to Elizabeth and a leadership major, teaches the young men the importance of having someone older to confide in and teaches them the values of being a good leader.

“We try to put kids in different positions that they have never been in” Evan Snelling said, “and I think that’s why we house it here at this institution. We want them to get the feel of a college campus; a lot of them have never been on a college campus before.”

Foundation Camp purposefully uses college students or recent graduates as camp counselors in order to give the campers someone to look up to according to Foundation Camp founder and camp administrator John Hershey. The camp is free each year to any boy who signs up, and free transportation is provided for those living inside of the city of Rome.