Ohio Wesleyan will host three weeklong sessions of OWjL Camp in June for 400 gifted middle-schoolers from 10 central Ohio counties. The children take classes in mathematics, logic, computing, science, humanities, and creative development. (Photo courtesy of OWjL)

‘OWjL’ Be Back

Ohio Wesleyan to Host Residential Camps for Gifted Middle-Schoolers from 10 Central Ohio Counties

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University will host 400 gifted-and-talented middle schoolers on campus from June 12 to July 1 for three weeklong sessions of the Ohio Wesleyan/Junior League of Columbus (OWjL) camp.

OWjL (pronounced “owl”) campers choose from more than 50 classes in mathematics, logic, computing, science, humanities, and creative development as they make friends and learn it’s OK to be smart. This year’s classes include “Murder in the Chem Lab,” “Design Your Own Home,” “Talk Like TED,” “Hunger Games: Can You Survive?” and “Archaeology, Can You Dig It?”

In testimonials shared about their experiences, many OWjL participants say the camp helps them to better understand and accept who they are.

“Before OWjL camp, I was a shy introvert with little, almost nonexistent interest in anything other than academics,” one former camper shared. “Even though I more than enjoyed burying myself in books and studying, I was socially isolated from all the students who could not understand my passion for books, learning, and many other subjects. … (OWjL Camp) made me realize I am not alone in my obsession with academics, and there are numerous children who do not share a strong social bond with the people around them. It helped me realize that my uniqueness and individuality is what ties me to the people around me, not what separates me.”

Students invited to attend OWjL camp are nominated by principals, guidance counselors, or teachers from more than 120 middle schools in 10 central Ohio counties: Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union counties. The sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders all have earned high test scores on nationally normed tests and demonstrated exceptional talent, creativity, or leadership.

The campers are taught by Ohio Wesleyan faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as national board-certified secondary school teachers, teachers of gifted and talented students, and other experts in their fields. They also are mentored by camp counselors including students from Ohio Wesleyan and various other colleges and universities.

The 2022 camp includes three weeklong sessions running from June 12-17 (grades six and seven), June 19-24 (grades seven and eight), and June 26-July 1 (grades six and seven).

The Ohio Wesleyan/Junior League of Columbus camp was founded in 1981 after a two-year study that determined the region’s gifted and talented middle school students were underserved during the school year and would benefit from programs to promote discovery and foster skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, research, leadership, and communication. Financial support for the program includes a three-year grant from the Ingram-White Castle Foundation. Learn more at owu.edu/owjl.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more at owu.edu.