STEPHENVILLE (June 21, 2018)- The Department of Psychological Sciences at Tarleton State University is hosting a Passport Camp from June 25-28 from 9 a.m. to noon for children between the ages of seven and 12. The camp will be held in Room 27 of the Thompson Student Center, and the camp will cost 100 dollars.
The first Passport Camp was in 2017 and it was called Passport Camp: Galapagos Edition. This year’s camp is called Passport Camp: European Edition. Students will learn about Italy, Germany, Sweden, Finland, England and France.
Students will get to visit the Planetarium to see a show related to travel, they will visit the Makers Spot and create a 3-D replica of the Eiffel Tower, and they will visit the Horticulture Center to learn about plants in various locations and climates.
Assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Dr. Jamie Borchardt, explained more about what the students will be doing in the camp next week.
“Kids will get a passport and make a stamp related to the country,” Borchardt said. “They will create a Viking ship and vest while learning about the Vasa museum. They will be learning about European currency and engage in pretend purchasing of candy related to various locations. They will learn some German phrases, create artistic items related to the Berlin Wall, Roman Coliseum, a castle and the Mona Lisa. There are several food activities such as a tea party, Italian pizza and a cookie Eiffel Tower. They will play European bingo and they will play a folder matching activity that is related to the various iconic locations in Europe. They will create their own version of the Northern lights. On the final day, kids will learn about backpacking in Europe, and we will show them how to use a compass and a journal to keep track of their locations.”
Seven Tarleton student volunteers will be assisting Borchardt with the camp. The students will create an activity to teach the children about cultural or global diversity. The students who participate in the activity will also be eligible to receive an ALE credit.
Borchardt also explained the reason why she decided to create this camp.
“I originally wanted to do this camp to help kids understand that there is more out there than just the environment that we interact with on a daily basis,” Borchardt said. “I did not have a lot of money growing up and traveling to places of this nature was out of the question with our financial situation. I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to travel abroad. Once I took my first trip to Europe, I wanted to bring it back to others at home. I specifically wanted to be able to offer scholarships to kids with financial limitations, who were like me growing up. With the support of the College of Education, ALE funding, and a University donor who supports two scholarships, we are able to offer some free spots in the camp to children with financial limitations, which has been my goal all along. One of our greatest gifts in life is the ability to educate others, and this camp allows me to combine my love for travel and my love for education.”
Borchardt teamed up with Dr. Chris Sloan, assistant professor from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, to help her with the execution of the camp. Sloan was able to recruit several volunteers from Curriculum and Instruction to help assist with the camp.
“Dr. Sloan is a wonderful person to work with and he will be a great asset to the camp this year,” Borchardt added.
She has also been working closely with Psychological Sciences graduate student, Kristen Bowman, on the design and implementation of the camp. Bowman will be the director of the camp and will help oversee all activities and volunteers.
“Kristen took a topics course over the spring 2018 semester called Camp Design and Grant Writing to learn more about how to create a camp from scratch,” Borchardt said. “We believe this will be useful in her future career, as she will be able to provide a portfolio of her camp design methodology. She has been working diligently on getting things ready for this camp, and I appreciate all of her work. Kristen has attended some grant training sessions and has begun preparing for the items we need to submit for a grant proposal. Once we have completed two successful years of this camp, we hope to apply for external funding for the camp in upcoming years.”
Currently, 25 students have signed up to participate in the Passport Camp. A portion of the money that the department receives from this camp will also go toward supporting Tarleton students who wish to travel abroad.
Borchardt hopes that students will leave this camp with “a better understanding of cultural and global diversity.”
“We discuss the differences in the United States and other countries to encourage kids to want to learn more about others that are outside of the U.S.,” Borchardt said. “For example, kids learn about Europe from their textbooks in history classes, but this camp allows them to connect something with that area related to culture, art and history in a way that is a fun and educational time.”
Borchardt also wants to give a shout-out to student volunteers: Jordan Bush, Jacob Beaver, Bradley Hawk, Cierra Hawk, Matthew Bristerpostma, Susana Espinosa and Laura Huddleston because “without their support in this camp, this would not be possible.”