Just came off the back of a camp with QUT as my work as a Student Ambassador. We stayed from Friday through Sunday with the kids (in Year 10), and have another camp with grades 11-12s next weekend. I find these camps are one of the best weekends of the year. It is a lot of fun getting to know the kids, bonding with them, and showing them university isn’t a big and scary place. Its something real, something attainable, and an interesting prospect.
Not to mention just how fun it is hanging around these guys. I will admit, I have a passion for youth. I used to help out at a youth group frequently back in high school, and this job is just like an awesome extension of that. For a lot of these kids from regional areas (Gin Gin, Murgon, Childers, etc), its their first time ever in Brisbane. Sure, for the first day/night of the camp they were restless, rowdy, and wanted to go to sleep. You would be too if you were stuck on a bus for 4 hours.
But come the next day, they were settled and keen to learn. Being joyfully expressive, curious, and creative. They got involved in all the activities, laughed, shouted, chilled, jumped, and generally made the weekend a kickass time.
- Forgetting my pillow (“great, looks like I’ll be sleeping on my towel instead”).
- Chilling with the Clontarf and Isis kids.
- the Animation session at KG. Some very interesting things happened to a cow named Alice.
- Skipping breakfast to have a warm shower. Moo ha ha.
- My hair.
- Teaming up with Jade and Dan to scare the crap out of the girls in the middle of a “scary story” sesh at night.
- Watching Modern Family on the bus with my epic Clontarf Crew.
- Talking about my hair.
- Getting all 10 of the “Celebrity” questions in Trivia right ^^
- Telling the kids who were thumping the dorm at 1.30 in the morning to keep it down or I’d take their pillows away.
- Waiting 40 minutes after TSXPO with the epic Murgon gang so they could get picked up (these kids are seriously a lot of fun. I can’t remember if I was that witty at 15, but they could rival Seth Cohen and The Chaser team in the epic humour/intelligence crossover).
- Looking at my hair in the mirror.
- My student life. Special shout out to the little monkey rebels in Murgon who heckled me at the start O_o
- Jade and Tamara making my hair epic…with various utensils >_>
- Having random-ass discussions about Twilight (team Jacob FTW!) in the middle of a game of volleyball.
- Watching Grown-Ups in Strathpine Cinemas. Quite possibly the worst film I’ve seen in years.
- Asking everyone “do you wanna take this outside?!” every 15 minutes.
- Washing my hair.
- Breakfast. Lunch. DINNER!
- Chilling in the Kelvin Grove markets, trying on the crazy Michael Jackson hats.
- Not buying the ridiculously overpriced sunglasses.
- Chilling with the gang at TSXPO. Grabbing as much free crap as possible.
- My hair.
These camps are seriously good value. Not only did all the kids have a stack of fun (who doesn’t leap at the chance to get away from their parents, and chill with epic homies for the weekend?), but they learned a lot about university, student life and options for the future. We conveyed this through fun activities and student engagement, rather than bopping them over the head with boring information and silly technical jibber jabber. I was there on the front lines, and I know that these camps are one of the best things QUT has to offer. They certainly impact and do more overall good for the kids than any of the other student recruitment activities.
Why’s this? They take a lot of regional students who’ve never thought about going to university, and show them its possible. Myths are destroyed (you’ll spend all of university with your head in a book, its hard to make friends, it costs millions of dollars, you have to study 40 hours a week [double lol]). More or less, these camps make a difference. I’m not talking about just selling QUT or promoting a brand or any of that crap. I mean really making a difference. Destroying limiting beliefs (I’m not smart enough for uni/I’m too poor/I’ll always be stuck in my hometown). Making connections and new friends. And what else? Of course. Having fun.
Photos of our adventures: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1407181496
Oh yeah, and I’m changing my degree to Education. Consider me inspired.