Union High to produce summer funPublished 4:35pm Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Dowagiac Union High School is hoping to provide some positive activities for its students over the summer by introducing the Chieftain Heart Summer Camp.
Chieftain Heart, a spirit club at the high school, began in October 2011, recruiting four co-advisors and several students to organize events within the school. Members of the club, including English teacher Dustin Cornelius and Kelly Gnodtke, gathered for a fundraiser Tuesday to support the camp.
“Our concept is to raise school spirit,” Cornelius said. “It’s the first year for this club, and they wanted to get something going for summer to keep kids entertained.”
Planned activities include a class in tie dye, dance sessions and crafts, such as making key chains.
“The idea is that if students are doing something positive, somewhat educational and interesting, they might find a skill they didn’t know about,” Cornelius said.
Lisa Thorne, a parent volunteer, said she was pleased to see a large turnout for the fundraiser, which featured a bake sale and student vs. teacher dodge ball competition.
“It’s fabulous. It’s always hard when you plan something like this because you don’t know how many will come,” said Thorne, explaining that students who join the club are involved with the entire process of setting up events, from organizing to advertising.
“It’s a lot of skill-building that the kids probably don’t realize,” Thorne said. “Through some of these activities, they might end up discovering something they can go on to study.”
Kirsten Novak, senior at the high school, got involved during the club’s planning of its 1980s dance. From there, she wanted to help organize the summer camp.
“I like that we’ll get to offer kids fun things to do in the summer,” Novak said. “I know I like to volunteer, and we want to give them things that they like to do.”
While the location of the classes for the summer camp is yet to be determined, the club is open to anyone who would like to join. Parents, alumni and community members are also welcome to volunteer or donate to the club’s efforts.
“We’ve got a Facebook page, which the students are responsible for updating regularly,” Cornelius said. “We want to see this continue each year and become something that lasts.”
For more information about the club, upcoming events or how to donate and volunteer, email Dustin Cornelius at firstname.lastname@example.org.