Auburn Family

That time of the year when most college students desert campus and it seems that no one is around, the high school students invade our territory. They come from all over to expand their knowledge in various subjects.

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“We are here to help high school students make decisions about their educational futures and careers,” said James Birdsong, Senior Program Developer for the Summer Experience. Summer camps are also a great recruiting tool for the university.


Birdsong said they hire about 20 students each year to work as counselors for the Summer Experience program. Becoming a counselor gives students the chance to make some lasting friendships, as well as share their passion for their school.


“Counselors have come through the program and loved it so much that they return the next year,” Birdsong said. The program hires students from various colleges (College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts etc…) in order to give the high school students a perspective from each.


Creative Writing Studio, Musical Theatre, REAL cents REAL change and Project Design Week are just a few of the many camps offered to high school students. Creative Writing Studio is an opportunity for students to explore their creativity through writing, while Musical Theatre gives them the opportunity to explore their creativity through music, dancing, movements and acting.

Associate professor and Alumni Writer-in-Residence in the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts Department of English, Chantel Acevedo, started Creative Writing Studio. Acevedo said the idea for a summer camp was something she’d thought of for a while. She finally made that dream a reality at Auburn University.


Before coming to Auburn, Acevedo taught high school for nearly a decade. Creative writing classes were always hard to come by for high school students, so she wanted to offer them the opportunity to hone their writing skills.


“What I enjoy most about the camp is getting to work with teenagers again, and students who are genuinely interested in writing and honing their craft,” Acevedo said.


REAL cents REAL change gives students an opportunity to learn about financial management and philanthropic impact, while Project Design Week allows students to experience a fun-filled week of various hands-on activities having to do with the design and merchandising of apparel, interiors, and accessories.


Students with musical experience may enjoy Strings and Chamber Music offering a wide range of musical experiences including chamber music, orchestra and jazz improvisation. They may also enjoy the Guitar Workshop. Open to all levels of experience, this workshop will offer a wide range of musical experiences including group and individual instruction, ensemble coaching, a variety of presentations, and evening artist’s recitals.


High school students (grades 9 through 12) have many other options for fun and learning. A full list of camps can be found on the Summer Experience website along with links to full descriptions.


Auburn students and recent Auburn graduates interested in becoming a camp counselor may contact James Birdsong during January of the year they wish to be a counselor. Birdsong said he may be contacted via phone at 334.844.5817 or email at

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