Kids from Floyd County Schools, Rome City Schools and area private schools got to come together over the past week and participate in a special gifted enrichment program at Berry College.

The Viking Exploration camp is a partnership between FCS and Berry College.

“It was a collaboration to bring enrichment activities to the gifted and talented students of Floyd County, Rome City and private schools, such as St. Mary’s,” Lori Frederick said.

Frederick, along with Allison Espy, is one of the organizers of the program, which took place during the first week of June from 8 a.m. to noon.

The students had a wide variety of classes to choose from, such as Chess Masters, where kids learn all about the game and get to ultimately compete in a chess tournament at the end of the week, and Improv, where kids learn about the unpredictable ad-lib form of theater performance.

“There were no opportunities for enrichment for these gifted-identified children and we wanted to offer something for them,” Espy said. “We try and appeal to a variety of audiences and interests.”

Using the Berry campus, the kids also get to learn about the history of the Mount Berry area through the Berry Unplugged program. In the class, kids experience games, crafts, story making, baking, and hiking while focusing on the Appalachian culture found here in Georgia. Some of the examples include friendship bracelets, candle making, scavenger hunts etc.

One of the most exciting classes the kids look forward to is Orienteering, where students learn how to follow compasses, read maps, geocaching, etc.

Frederick described the class as “swashbuckling” since you often see the kids run around with plastic swords and reading “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Berry students staff the BOLD program, or Berry College Outdoor Leadership course. In the class, kids learn about teamwork and leadership skills while also maneuvering obstacle courses or low ropes course elements.

“It emphasizes leadership, communication and cooperation skills,” Frederick said.

High school honors students also get service hours by working as counselors in the program.

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