Figuring out the next step on an academic journey can be an exciting process. Rising Bryn Mawr seniors are getting early tips and support through a signature school program known as Camp College.
This past summer, most of the Class of 2023 attended the free, four-day program in early June, which walks students through creating their Common Application account and offers writing workshops to help students with their personal statement and supplemental essays. A follow-up Camp College 2.0 happens in August, when students learn tips for meeting with college representatives, review important college application deadline dates, share summer updates with their college counselors and begin to develop their application timeline and strategy. The program also features frequent dance breaks, random drawings for prizes from local businesses and a laid back atmosphere.
Bryn Mawr’s Director of College Counseling Ann Marie Strauss, who serves as president of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admissions Counseling, launched Camp College to encourage students to take control of their application process early and empower them to embrace an incremental and intentional approach to applications as they weigh criteria and priorities.
“There is too much information for students to learn and process in one sitting,” Ann Marie said, “Camp College was conceived as a way to manage the workflow, reduce the anxiety of unknown college applications, make students feel in control of the process, all in a way that is developmentally appropriate for our students.”
Camp College participant and rising Bryn Mawr senior Elise Purcell appreciates the early jump start. “I think there are so many benefits to starting this process early. The Common Application requires a lot of tedious background information that can take a very long time to input. Camp College has allowed all of us to put that part of the process behind us and work on shaping ourselves and our applications,” she said.
While taking time out of summer might not appeal to all teens, Elise wants students to know it is worth it. “I am super happy I have gotten all of the tedious details out of the way and can focus on improving my essays and discovering which colleges will work best for me.”
The idea of empowering students is at the heart of this program and the entire college counseling journey , according to Ann Marie. “We are here to support students in being successful in the college process, and in life, by approaching the journey with an open mind, strong communication and organizational skills and a willingness to stretch the boundaries.”