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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU Hosting Summer Leadership Camp to Teach Kids How to Give Back to the Community

July 26th, 2014

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

By Sarah Clinton

WHAT: Graduate students at the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs are hosting a five day summer camp, the Truman Leadership Camp, to engage adolescents in civic and community service. The camp, which is in its second year, is directed at children who are entering the seventh, eighth or ninth grades and will feature service projects and other community improvement ventures for students. Some of the activities will include:

  • Creation of “ideal service projects,” with an emphasis on teaching students about the planning and implementation of service projects.
  • A city hall tour with opportunities for students to mock advocate for their proposed service projects in the city hall council chamber.
  • Clean-ups at various locations in downtown Columbia.
  • A “White House Decision Center,” during which students will simulate the complicated processes behind important government decisions.

“MU is more than just an academic institution, and this program gives kids opportunities to learn about and develop interests in some of the many fields the university makes available,” said Adam Schmid, executive director of the camp and a graduate student in the Truman School of Public Affairs. “Ultimately, we want to emphasize the importance of community involvement and demonstrate how positive interactions with others lead to improved surroundings. Instilling these values when people are young goes a long way toward bettering the state of local communities. ”

The program was created in 2013 by Truman School of Public Affairs graduate students, and will continue as an annual summer camp operated by students as part of internships required for their degrees. The camp is funded through sponsorships from the MU Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative, the Kids First Optimist Club, the Institute of Public Policy in the Truman School of Public Affairs and private donations.

WHO: Youth entering the seventh, eighth or ninth grades

WHEN: Monday, July 21 – Friday, July 25
Media are invited to attend Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 23-25.

WHERE: MU campus and downtown Columbia