Learning how to get back in a boat after falling out could be a metaphor for success.
While not many people fell out during kayaking lessons at Georgia Highlands College on Wednesday — everybody who did got it together and started paddling again.
GHC kicked off its annual Foundation Camp this week which runs through July 3. The camp is for boys aged 10 through 14 who otherwise might not have the opportunity to learn skills such as physics, robotics, computer programming, and many others.
The camp was started 14 years ago, and is the result of a partnership between the college and 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia.
The goal of the camp program is to help children who may be struggling to reach a higher level of education, as well as inspire them to achieve better self-respect and develop leadership skills.
GHC stays in touch with and assists approximately 120 kids year round. Many former campers return to mentor to the new incoming campers.
Jon Hershey, Dean of Humanities at Georgia Highlands College, said, “Now we see every year students who had been campers. It’s coming full circle.”
“Hopefully they become members of 100 Black Men and really come full circle,” said Curtis Adams of 100 Black Men of Rome.
Rontavious Coley, the assistant director of the Foundation Camp and former camper, says he sees it as a way of giving back to his community and that he sees himself in the campers.
One of the many activities provided to the campers is going kayaking on the campus lake.
According to Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman, executive director of Coosa River Basin Initiative, this gives students an opportunity to experience being out on the water and provides a learning experience that teaches coordination and boat skills.
The activity also teaches the campers ecology and the physics of the boat, said Eric Lindberg, who is a teacher.
The main goal of the camp is to provide a variety of learning experiences to children, but the secondary goal is that campers continue to aim for a higher education in the future.