Government Camp Helps Students Shape their Future
By Amanda Morad | July 24, 2014
A Government Camp student tests out the polygraph with Special Agent Hank Crawford.
Summer means different things to different high school students, but many use it as a time to gather new experiences. Such is the case for 36 students who attended Regent University's 2014 Government Camp, hosted by the College of Arts & Sciences. This year's camp was the largest yet.
Held July 14-18, students came from all across the country to attend the week long camp exploring the inner workings of federal government, the military and national security.
"Government Camp exposed some of the country's brightest high schoolers to the opportunities available in our nation's military, law enforcement and judicial branches of government," explained CAS lecturer Steven Webb.
The camp took students to regional centers of government that few civilians ever get to experience. They traveled to the Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group on the Joint Expeditionary Base in Fort Story, Va.; Langley Air Force Base in Langley, Va.; the U.S. Coast Guard Base Support Unit in Portsmouth, Va.; Little Creek Naval Base in Norfolk, Va.; and the Virginia Beach Police Bomb Squad Unit in Virginia Beach, Va.
At each of these locations, students were given unprecedented access to top tier government and military leadership from the local to the national level. They toured ships and submarines, examined forensic evidence and tested advanced national security technology.
"Regent's Government Camp continues to be an incredible and transformative leadership opportunity for high school students unlike any other," said CAS dean, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño. "Students always leave the camp expressing a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our government and security sector and all the men and women who faithfully serve in these areas."
As cool as all the field trips are, one of the most important cornerstones of the camp is building character. "We began the camp with a discussion about the importance of competence and character as key characteristics of leadership, noting that skills were simply not enough," said Dr. Josh McMullen, CAS assistant professor and a camp facilitator. "With that in mind, we wanted to introduce the students to a range of careers that require strong leadership in the fields of government and criminal justice."
This year's camp also featured visiting professionals like Brian Samuels, Assistant United States Attorney; Deputy US Marshal Nick Proffitt; forensic scientist Helen Lake; Bruce Dutcher of Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Special Agent Hank Crawford, who gave a polygraph demonstration on Regent's campus.
According to Webb, these first-hand accounts of what it's like to be a public servant in the federal government and the military helped students break misconceptions about the role of government and shape realistic ideas about their future career paths.
"Although Government Camp required students to commit wholeheartedly, the benefits received changed life expectations and planted the seeds of public service in these students' young hearts," Webb concluded.
Moreno-Riaño agreed. "Students consistently rave about the new horizons that every camp experience opens for them, and they often consider the camp to be a key touchstone in helping them to determine a career path," he explained. "This camp is a wonderful opportunity through which Regent continues to serve the Hampton Roads community and beyond."
Learn more about Government Camp and watch for 2015 dates.
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations
Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888
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