Hayden Taylor, left, Sheldon Scow and Talela Manson are excited to welcome high school students back to VIU’s Nanaimo campus for the sixth year for the Thuy’she’num Tu Smun’eem: Building a Foundation for our Youth summer camps. (Vancouver Island University photo)

Hayden Taylor, left, Sheldon Scow and Talela Manson are excited to welcome high school students back to VIU’s Nanaimo campus for the sixth year for the Thuy’she’num Tu Smun’eem: Building a Foundation for our Youth summer camps. (Vancouver Island University photo)

VIU to host summer camps for Indigenous high school students

Grades 7-12 students can live on campus for 5 days

Indigenous high school students will be able to experience university campus living for five days with the in-person return of two youth camps.

According to a release from Vancouver Island University, the first of the two Thuy’she’num Tu Smun’eem: Building a Foundation for our Youth summer camps, as organized by the ‘su’luqw’a’ Community Cousins Indigenous mentorship program, will be held on from July 18-22 for Grades 7 through 9 and the second camp session will be held from Aug. 8-12 for Grades 10 through 12.

The youth camps will take place at the VIU campus in Nanaimo and aim to make the transition to university easier for Indigenous students, with students staying overnight at the residences.

“We are grateful that we were able to switch to an online and then a blended (online and in-person) format for the past two years. But now that restrictions have eased, we are very excited to bring the youth back to campus,” said Hayden Taylor, a camp coordinator, in the release. “The idea is to slowly get students out of their comfort zones and get them making those connections outside of their communities.”

The release indicated that during the camps, daytime activities will include campus tours, financial literacy workshops, public speaking workshops, cultural activities with VIU elders-in-residence, drum circles and even a boxing session.

“I think the camps were an opportunity to meet mentors and inspired me to come to VIU to go to post-secondary,” said Talela Manson, a past camp participant and now a camp coordinator, in the release. “For a while, I didn’t know if it was something I wanted to do and how I was going to do that. I got to meet a lot of people who were in my place and could share their experiences. It made me feel less alone and like I had a place to go after high school.”

Those interested can e-mail Sheldon Scow with VIU at sheldon.scow@viu.ca.

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