Monday, June 4, 2012

Journey to J.D.: The First 24 Hours

Oh, no! It looks like rain, and Journey to J.D. just started an hour ago. All of the campers attended the welcome program, dropped off their luggage, changed their clothes and are now ready to leave. But rain? Not good since the kids (and the resident assistants) are going to the Adams Campus Outdoor Education Center for three hours of team-building and ice-breaking activities.

Phew, dodged a bullet, no rain. But now it’s muggy and buggy. However, it seems like everyone had a good time. It doesn’t hurt that the campers and staff had pizza from Rudy’s Pizzeria for dinner.  Lights out at 11 p.m. I think everyone will sleep soundly tonight.

6 a.m. comes awfully early, and it’s even earlier for the staff members who stay overnight in Templin Hall with the campers.  They have to get up before 6 to wake up the campers and take them over to Mrs. E’s for breakfast.  Now it’s time for the first of four daily trips between Mrs. E’s and Green Hall.   If the 2012 J2JDers are like the previous campers, this will be a trek that brings little joy to their lives, especially when they have to go uphill.

Once the RAs bring the campers to Green Hall, they will meet their teaching assistants for the first time.  The teaching assistants, just like the resident assistants, are KU Law students. Four of the 12 staff members just graduated from KU and are concurrently studying for the bar exam (I’m in awe).  The teaching assistants will give an overview of the American legal system and teach basic concepts in areas like torts, criminal law, constitutional law and intellectual property.

It will be interesting to see how this year’s campers use their knowledge once they go back home when camp ends on Saturday.

After walking back up to Mrs. E’s for lunch, back down again for class and then back up once more for dinner, the campers will get the chance to learn more about college admissions and scholarships from KU Admissions. But after that, they kick back and relax in the residence hall and play board games and watch movies. A little down time is warranted (and welcomed!) after a non-stop day.

- Karen Hester, director of student affairs and diversity, is director of Journey to J.D., a week-long summer camp at the University of Kansas School of Law designed to support, mentor and encourage diverse students entering their junior year of high school to attend college and, ultimately, law school and pursue legal opportunities in the region. More information at www.law.ku.edu/journeytojd

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