July 20, 2012
In a great example of what true collaboration can bring, Franklin Pierce University (FPU), the Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club, and the Jaffrey-Rindge public school system worked together to create Camp Quest for local middle school students. Sixty-five 6th to 8th grade students from the Jaffrey-Rindge middle school enjoy 12 days of camp spread over a 5-week period on Franklin Pierce University’s campus. The program, which is free of charge to campers, is now in its second year and is run by the Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club, chaired by Rotarian Tonya Albee. The club won the Rotary International Award for Best Service Program in the District (out of 61 clubs) for Camp Quest, given at the annual meeting held in Portland, Maine, on June 2, 2012.
Rotary President Jim O’Neill says, “The Camp Quest program gives kids an opportunity to try things they might not have the opportunity to do, and being on a college campus gives some of them aspirations to go to college when they might not have considered it an option before. It opens up their world.” The program provides campers with a morning of academic classes in language arts, math, and computer technology, combatting the academic “summer slump” that some students experience. The campers eat lunch in the FPU dining hall and then choose from an array of afternoon recreational activities, such as archery, kayaking, photography, fly fishing, tree climbing, arts & crafts, and more. The afternoon wraps up with an hour of swimming and other water activities enjoyed together on FPU’s Pearly Pond.
FPU President James Birge says, “The Quest program is a perfect integration of our mission as a University and the mission of Rotary to do community service. I’m really proud of how the people in the town and Rotary and FPU have all worked together to make this happen.” The Jaffrey-Rindge school district supplies bus transportation to and from FPU’s campus for all of the campers, and approximately 40 Rotarians (several of whom are FPU alums) help teach the classes and recreational activities as well as supervise all aspects of the program. FPU staff members pitch in to help with some activities as well, and Dr. Birge helps to teach fly fishing, a lifelong hobby that he enjoys. WMUR filmed a day of Camp Quest which will be aired soon on Chronicle.
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