HARTFORD, Conn., July 2, 2010 – Trinity College’s Dream Camp will kick off its 2010 season on July 6 with approximately 300 Hartford children ages 6 to 16 arriving on campus for the five-week summer program that runs through August 6.
Now in its 13th season, the summer camp and year-round academic mentoring program provides a fun, educational, and safe environment for participating elementary school through high school students. The camp has an annual return rate of 98 percent. Trinity College students serve as tutors and mentors throughout the academic year, and many remain on campus as Dream Camp counselors during the summer. About 30 percent of Dream Camp staff members are former campers.
Trinity student Matt Noble, second from left, with Dream Campers on the campus of Trinity College during summer 2009. Noble, a graduate of Hartford Public High School, recently completed his first year as a Trinity student and will enter his sophomore year in the fall. He is a former camper and will be a Dream Camp counselor once again this summer. Photo: John Marinelli.
Dream Camp counselor Lydia Cross, a 2010 Trinity graduate who received her B.A. in International Studies in May, looks forward to working with the children this summer, including fourth- and fifth-graders she has mentored in the camp’s after-school program. “Sometimes it’s just that little extra support a mentor can provide that makes all the difference,” says Cross. “The kids see their grades improving and they get more and more excited about learning.”
During the summer, Dream Camp offers classroom activities, like a “World Tour” program exposing campers to different countries and cultures, plus plenty of non-classroom activities, such as swimming, sports, performing arts, and lots of time outside. For Cross, whose concentration at Trinity was on Middle Eastern Studies, the opportunity to work with kids at Dream Camp has been “an invaluable part of my college experience.” Cross hopes to hear later this summer about two Peace Corps positions for which she has been nominated—teaching English in Morocco or in Jordan.
Among the chief goals of Trinity’s Dream Camp are to enhance out-of-school educational opportunities for Hartford’s children, build confidence and academic skills, and improve success in school—and, therefore, build interest in pursuing higher education. As campers enter high school and begin considering options for college, Dream Camp’s programs focus more on issues such as college awareness, admissions, SAT prep, and navigating through college and financial aid applications.
For the third year in a row, Versa Products Company, whose president and CEO, Jan Larsson, is a 1977 Trinity graduate, is supporting the Versa Valves Engineering Internship Program. Two Trinity students will serve as mentors introducing a robotics curriculum to about 60 Hartford middle and high school students attending Dream Camp. Versa Products Company is also the lead sponsor of the annual Trinity College Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest, scheduled for April 2011.
Financial support for Trinity’s Dream Camp is provided by an anonymous Trinity College alumnus, Bank of America Foundation, Inc., J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Ensworth Charitable Foundation, The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Travelers Foundation, Versa Products Company, and friends of the College.
Every year, Dream Camp has more applicants than space available, with a current waiting list of more than 150 children. Contributions are welcome to help make it possible for more children to attend Dream Camp. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on making a gift to Dream Camp.