View From the Hill: SCATS Teaches Talented Students

By: Amy Bingham
By: Amy Bingham

If you hang around WKU in the summer, you are familiar with the word SCATS. It stands for Summer Camp for Academically Talented Middle School students. It's the 28th year for this camp that students say makes learning fun!

"It's fun but it's also a little bit hard, a little bit." Middle School student Matt Armstrong from Hopkinsville likes World War Two, so that was one of the classes he signed up for at SCATS. "When you go to SCATS, you get to not only be pushed but in areas you are interested in, you get to pick the top ten options and take four of them."

Emily Peeler knows the advantages of SCATS very well. She's a counselor now, but attended SCATS and VAMPY (a similar camp for gifted seventh through tenth graders) before she enrolled in the Gatton Academy her senior year. "It's a good feed," she says, "SCATS to VAMPY to the academy, a good stepping stone"

More than thirty courses are offered during the two week camp.
"It's a water color class, we just do basic water color technique until we get to advanced stuff. It seems cool."

After attending classes during the day, the students have fun activities at night. "At night we do optional activities with them, we call it mandatory fun and we have a wide variety of things."

Center for Gifted studies Director Julia Roberts says SCATS students most enjoy bonding with their peers. "The most exciting thing," she says, "is they get to be with others who think like they do, share their interests, be in class, not distracted by kids who don't want to be there."

Counselor Justin Penny agrees. "It's definitely more comfortable to surround yourself with kids like you," she says, "connect with kids like you. that have the same interest. If you are on the same academic level, it's so much easier to make friends."

202 students, including four from Shanghai, are attending SCATS. Twenty of the twenty two counselors on staff attended the camp when they were in middle school. To follow their adventures, log onto scatsblog.org.


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