In summer camps, there’s a familiar refrain: “Live 10 months for 2.” It’s about a summer session so good campers can’t wait for next year. William Paterson University Summer Youth Program takes that a step further by aiming for a session so memorable, campers already want to graduate from high school.
“When campers see the college students, they look at them and say, ‘I want to be one of them,’” says Iris DiMaio, associate director of youth programs at William Paterson’s School of Continuing and Professional Education. “They can see themselves as college students in the future…that’s what I want for students when they’re on campus, to let information in. Like a sponge.”
Camp started here in 1993, with the development of the Summer Jazz Workshop. Now, summer programs are divided into two categories for grades 4-8 and high school students. The Pre-College Summer Youth Program is focused on academics, while WP Summer Day Camp–formerly Summer Life on Campus–is more of a blend of academics and traditional summer camp activities with access to William Paterson’s pool. There are no field trips this summer, a nod to continued safety protocols in light of the COVID pandemic. All applicable health guidelines are followed on campus.
A highlight for DiMaio is offering roughly 90 full- or half-day enrichment courses, including SAT Prep, Graphic Design, Tree House Architecture, 3-D Printing, Video Game Design and Fashion Sewing Camp. All follow her motto of “learning by having more hands-on experience.”
“Students gain so much here,” says Kim Wolfe, Manager of Youth Programs. “We want students to leave the program with a better understanding of themselves and a path for their future.”
300 Pompton Rd., Wayne