Fayetteville State University Summer Camps Strengthen Minds and Bodies

Programs Offer Something for Everyone in Academics and Athletics
Date: June 23, 2023


Fayetteville, N.C. (June 23, 2023) — Earlier this month, several budding scientists, all high school students, participated in a free, two-week, residential summer camp on the Fayetteville State University (FSU) campus. Their mission: to take a crash course in climate change and the cutting-edge technologies that address it. 

Funded by NASA, the course was called Earth Science and Geospatial Science and Technology: Cutting-edge Technologies for Examining Climate Change (CTECC). It was taught by Trung V. Tran, Ph.D., GISP, an assistant professor of geospatial science at FSU.

CTECC had ambitious aims. It introduced students to such technologies as satellite remote sensing, graphic information systems, 3D printing, and drones in hands-on workshops involving partners from NASA, academia, and industries. It also taught them about such climate-relevant topics as sustainable development, greenhouse gases, and ocean acidification.

“We were thrilled to offer this unique, immersive experience to area high school students interested in STEM fields,” Tran said. “Having the opportunity to work on NASA-related research directly connected to its Earth Observation missions and initiatives through the use of cutting-edge geospatial science and technology was truly transformative for our students.”

Kids in and around Cumberland County are taking advantage of CTECC and 24 other camps available this summer at FSU. University officials expect almost 1,900 people will attend either an academic or a sports camp in June and July, with more than 450 staying in a campus residence hall. Many programs are free or low-cost, thanks to federal funding or private donations.

The camps serve various purposes, from giving kids intellectual stimulation and building research skills to offering them ways to stay active through their favorite sport.

One camp, which supports FSU’s strong ties to the military community, offers a Cadet Leadership Course (CLC) of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) later this month to 250 Air Force JROTC cadets from 15 schools in eastern and central North Carolina. The course aims to teach “citizenship, leadership, and practical skills in a highly structured and focused instructional environment.”

Other youngsters are attending summer sessions of the U.S. Department of Education-funded TRIO and other year-round programs that FSU’s Office of College Access makes available at no cost to qualifying students from target schools. The sessions, which comprise the Career & College Readiness Summer Institute, enable students to expand their learning and prepare for the upcoming academic year. In this and other ways, many campers get their first taste of a college atmosphere -- and perhaps become the first members of their families to attend college.

The athletes among the campers can improve their skills through camps for one of several sports, including basketball, volleyball, football, cheerleading, and track & field. They’re receiving first-rate coaching, either from current professional players or from FSU coaches who’ve made a mark, including former Jamaican Olympian Inez Turner, who was featured in the recent Track & Field Camp.

In 2017, Turner led the FSU Broncos to their first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Women’s Cross-Country Championship, and under her leadership, FSU won its first-ever CIAA women’s indoor track & field championship in 2020. In total, Turner has led FSU to 11 CIAA championships across cross-country, indoor and outdoor track.

Dr. LaWanda D. Miller holds several administrative roles at FSU in addition to serving as its head cheerleading coach. In July, she’ll be running the 21st annual Cheer Phi Smoov Cheer Camp, where participants will learn new cheers and dances and get training from current Bronco cheerleaders.

“Cheer Phi Smoov helps campers gain self-confidence,” Miller said. “They get special awards, meet new friends, learn the newest cheers and dance routines, and perform at the closing rally for friends and family. Above all, they have fun!”

The following Q&A provides more details about FSU’s many summer opportunities.


I’m interested in attending a summer camp at FSU. Which ones still have openings?

The academic offerings have completed their enrollment process. As of June 20, four sports camps still had openings, and prospective campers have until the first day of each camp to register; visit www.Fsubroncos.com/camps for information on each available camp. If a sports camp runs all day, lunch on campus will be provided to its participants.


I’ve heard that four sports camps are being offered for the first time this summer. Could you tell me more about them?

Two new camps for female basketball players were offered this summer. One was for JV/Varsity and AAU teams, with three officiated games for each squad played in Capel Arena. Another helped girls ages 13-17 take their game to a level that might impress college recruiters.

Between June 17 and June 22, two new football camps were held each featuring an FSU alumnus who plays in the National Football League. The Big Man Football Camp -- featuring Kion Smith, an offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins -- was organized for offensive and defensive linemen entering grades 9 to 12 of high school. The Youth Football Camp -- featuring Joshua Williams, a cornerback on the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs -- was offered for boys and girls aged 6 through 14.


I’m interested in joining one of the Office of College Access programs mentioned earlier in this article so I can participate in the Career & College Readiness Summer Institute. What can you tell me about the institute?

Glad you asked. The institute not only exposes students to university life, it also takes their learning to the next level in a variety of innovative ways. For example, the TRIO Talent Search UNITE Camp enables high school students to gain a better understanding of the real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The 21st-Century Community Learning Centers Summer STEAM Institute is a program for high school students seeking to strengthen and expand their scientific and mathematical knowledge while being introduced to the arts.

The institute’s programs also offer opportunities for students to participate in activities that might not be available to them during the regular school year. In the past, for example, institute participants have taken tours of universities; visited New York City, where they took in such attractions as Columbia University, the Langston Hughes House, and the Statue of Liberty; and gone on a Deep South excursion that included stops in Georgia and Alabama.


I’ve heard that the institute offers high school students some amazing research opportunities. What can you tell me about them?

The Army Educational Outreach Program High School Apprenticeship, which is for rising 11th- and 12th-grade students in the TRIO Talent Search program, is an excellent example. It enables students who are from historically under-represented and underserved groups in STEM to work on a research project overseen by a professor at a college or university. The apprentices become familiar with the real world of research, gain valuable mentorship, and learn about education and career opportunities in STEM.



About Fayetteville State University:

Founded in 1867, Fayetteville State University is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina System and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. FSU is a historically black university offering degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. With nearly 7,000 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation. To learn more about Fayetteville State University, visit www.uncfsu.edu.

  • Tags:
  • News