64.6 F

Davis, California

Monday, May 20, 2024

Campus not a ghost town this summer

Isn’t Davis supposed to be empty over the summer? Well, it’s not. So what are all these people doing here?

While half the population leaves UC Davis for the summer, more and more visitors stop by for camps, lessons, tours, orientation and entertainment.

Hoping to train youth athletes under 18, qualified coaches and current/former intercollegiate Aggie athletes staff UC Davis sport camps. The various programs concentrate on focused skill development and perfecting each athlete’s techniques.

Throughout the summer, UC Davis softball hosted both day and residential camps. On August 21 and 28, the camp will hold four-day programs that focus on development based on a player’s position, whether it is pitcher, catcher, outfield or infield.

“[Campers get] a heightened level of experience as well as greater knowledge of the game. They get a chance to really experience UC Davis while they’re here on campus,” said Karen Yoder, head UC Davis softball coach.

The campus will host the 2011 UC Davis Elite Girls Basketball Clinic through various sessions through August 18. The clinic will concentrate on specific individual skill development, fundamentals of basketball and instruction from the UC Davis coaching staff for girls in grades seven to 12.

UC Davis Field Hockey and Women’s Soccer team each held residential summer camps, where high school-aged-campers stayed in the residential halls for the duration of the camp.

According to Yoder, one of the biggest advantages of attending a UC Davis sport camp is the exposure to coaches and each team’s philosophy.

“It’s a great way for the community members and players to be identified by the current coaches in terms of prospects and recruiting,” Yoder said.

To involve youths in campus life, UC Davis Campus Recreation hosted numerous youth camps throughout the summer, including bowling, cooking, swimming, theatre, music, crafts and dance.

They also offered educational camps, which focus on one subject area such as Bio Boot, Kids Farm and Food, Adventures in Enrichment and Leaders in Training.

Non-UC Davis affiliated organizations also use the campus for events. Each summer, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) hosts Tech Trek at eight different universities across California. Tech Trek is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) camp program for 83 girls entering eighth grade. During the camp, girls attend daily core courses and field trips. 2011 was Tech Trek’s inaugural year at UC Davis.

Lisa Beauchamp, AAUW branch coordinator for the UC Davis Tech Trek, said that the AAUW hopes the university campus experience will help girls consider entering one of the STEM fields and pursue higher education. In a Tech Trek survey of camp alumnae, 87 percent of camp alumnae enrolled in a 4-year college or university.

“[The AAUW’s] efforts will help increase America’s competitiveness by reducing gender barriers that deter women from pursuing academic and career goals in these fields,” Beauchamp said.

During the camp at UC Davis, 83 girls attended daily core courses and field trips to the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Bohart Museum of Entomology and veterinary hospital. Campers also visited the Aerospace Museum of California and the Grace Foundation, an equine rehabilitation facility.

“The girls will never forget their experience at Tech Trek, the things they learned, and the friends they made,” Beauchamp said.

From July 6 through August 12, UC Davis also held its three-day orientation camps for first-year and transfer students entering the school this Fall quarter. During the event, 50 orientation leaders aided incoming undergraduates with academic advising, placement exams, campus tours and knowledge of campus resources.

“Our primary goal is to provide them with the critical academic advising they need to begin their first quarter here at UC Davis, as well as connect them to important campus resources,” said Catrina Wagner, associate director the office of student development and new student academic services, in an e-mail interview.

Students who attended stayed in the residential halls and experienced the dining commons for the first time. According to Wagner, many students who attend orientation also meet new friends and future roommates.

Unlike in previous years, UC Davis was able to create webinars for those unable to attend orientation on campus. The Undergraduate Admissions office, the Services for International Students & Scholars office and the Orientation & Student Housing student and professional staff worked together to create three different webinars.

Throughout the year, as a way to introduce UC Davis future applicants to the campus, UC Davis Visitor Services holds 90-minute campus tours. Despite the heat, summer is a popular time for tours.

Tour guides take visitors along the central core of the UC Davis campus and introduce them to the little known facts about the school. The Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center hosts walking tours for prospective students and their families, large groups and intercollegiate athletes.

While many visit Davis for camps and tours, some come for conferences and seminars. These included a wine law seminar, dairy technology day and UC Davis’ 55th annual Weed Day, which informed those interested in pest control, weed regulations and chemicals about current weed science research at UC Davis.

Celebrants of art and music flock to Davis for art exhibits and music performances.

Over the summer, UC Davis Master of Fine Art graduates showed Art in the Age of Social Media exhibit while the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts held two music and dance programs. These included the Cajun music of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and the Indian Non Stop Bhangra, who offered a free dance lesson with Dholrythms Dance Company.

GRACE BENEFIELD can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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