University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Last updated: Friday, 21-Feb-2003 19:45:53 CST

June 27, 2003

By Sarah Matara
UWRF News Bureau

The UW-River Falls campus is home to conferences, workshops, educational programs and camps that provide a wide variety of activities for all ages, making it a busy place in the summer.

In addition to the well-known Kansas City Chiefs training camp, activities hosted on campus include youth sports camps, marching band rehearsals, church group meetings, a leadership program for kids called "Youth Leadership Congress," "Upward Bound," which is a program for students that come from a family where neither parent holds a college degree, the Horse Science Institute conference, a tennis camp for senior citizens called "Traveling Tennis," as well as many others.

Approximately 3,000 persons stay on campus each summer for activities, while nearly 10,000 participate in all of the events, said conferences and events Director Jerry Waller.

Students that come to the campus for various activities develop leadership skills, self-esteem, and independence. They can explore educational opportunities and may even one day choose to attend college at UW-RF, if they have a positive experience on campus.

Chancellor Any Lydecker said both the campus and visitors gain from summer activities.

"We welcome summer campers, program participants and other visitors to our campus each summer. Many people gain their first introduction to our campus through one or more of our summer programs. They come for these unique summer offerings, work with our faculty and staff, feel comfortable in our beautiful surroundings and when it is time for them, or others in their families, to select a college, many of them return to UW-RF. The local economy is also supported as visitors to campus stop and shop in our stores, restaurants, gas stations and motels in the region."

Traveling Tennis is one of the programs that draw people to campus. This year they will have two camps, one for three days and one for four days. While seniors are here, they try to take part in as many local attractions as possible, including the St. Croix Valley Summer Theatre, the Wyman concert series, art and music shows, and the Kansas City Chiefs practices. Some 25 guests come each time and stay in the residence halls on campus.

Another event on campus is "The Teen University Program," which provides academic enrichment classes for students who show high academic potential, motivation, and talent. This is the camp's 11th summer and is taught by University faculty and other specialty selected instructors. Classes are specifically designed for students who have finished grade six, seven or eight by the time summer begins. Students can choose morning and afternoon classes during the one-week program and must be nominated through their school in order to participate. Students enrolled this year total 112, with 31 staying on campus. They come from St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties.

Nearly 1,100 new freshman and 300 transfer students have been on campus in June, registering for classes and attending orientation, according to admissions Director Alan Tuchtenhagen. They will bring an estimated 2,100 parents with them.

Students attending summer school total approximately another 2,000 students.

Waller said visitors use the UW-RF campus because of its great location, small-town atmosphere, beautiful campus, proximity to the Twin Cities, and the outdoor facilities. It is a contained campus, and activity does not have to spill out into the residential neighborhoods and disturb residents. The dining facilities have always received good reviews (it's the same staff that cook for the Kansas City Cheifs), and there are residence halls for guests to stay in. The activities on campus in the summer provide ongoing employment for UW-RF employees and bring many visitors to River Falls.

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