Sports summer camp enrollment down; college hopes to promote more academic programs

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During the summer months, when few students attend CEU, the campus is occupied with students participating in its summer high school and college camps. For the last 30 years, CEU has hosted summer camps of all kinds to both high school and university-level students. Coach Dave Paur remembers when former athletic director and men's basketball coach Curt Jensen was the first college coach to offer basketball camps to state of Utah high schools in the '70s. He brought a team up from California to attend the week-long camp.

CEU offered fived sports camps this year including football, boy's and girl's basketball, soccer and volleyball. Schools attending this year's campus included football: Bingham, Davis, Timpview, Lyman WY, Lone Peak and Mountain View; boys basketball: Layton, Christian and Oak Canyon Junior High; girls basketball: Union, Emery, Ben Lomond, Wendover and Gunnison Valley; soccer: Box Elder, Carbon, Dixie, Payson, Pine View, Uintah and Wasatch; volleyball: Carbon, Hillcrest, Pine View and Union.

The camps cover a wide range of interests. The summers begin with geology and crime scene investigation camps that are attended by colleges from around the country. Then the school sponsors a series of sports camps for high school teams.

The camps vary in size from 30-40 students at a geology camp to over 800 at some of the sports camps. The camps this year at CEU were rumored to have been smaller than in years past. Dan Allen, associate vice president of institutional advancement & auxiliaries, said, "Our basketball camps were smaller this year due to additional outside competition. We always have competition from other schools, but this year, a private organization called Open Court in Lehi took many of the schools in the Salt Lake and Utah Valley areas. The other camps were not affected very much, though."

Allen was hired on at CEU five years ago to oversee and direct the camps.

The school charges each member of a camp a flat rate that includes: housing in the campus dorms, use of campus facilities (for example, using the BDAC or the football field), food in the food court in the College Center, and, usually, some kind of local entertainment (for example, entrance to the Wave Pool or movie passes).

The camps vary in cost depending on the camp. During the football and soccer camps, CEU just provides the facilities and the individual coaches of the teams that come are in charge of running the camp themselves, so these camps are less expensive per player. In contrast, CEU provides not only the facilities, but also CEU's own coaching staffs and officials to help with the basketball and volleyball camps.

The school does not walk away empty handed, though. One perk the school gets back from these camps is valuable recruiting opportunities. Allen said, "During the freshman orientations that I have attended, I've asked the incoming freshman in attendance to raise their hands if they had ever attended a summer camp before at CEU and a considerable number of them said that they had."

In addition to recruiting, the school also takes in considerable revenue from these camps. Allen estimated that the school, on average, takes in between $350,000 to $400,000 per summer. About half of that money is used for the supplies of the camps such as food, usage of the dorms, etc. The rest of the money is divided up between the different departments that are involved in making the camps possible.

When asked who was in charge of the camps now, Allen said, "We had two people on staff whose primary responsibility was these camps. Over the summer, they both left to take other positions. When the second one left, we absorbed their responsibilities (of the camps) into our other organizations. Dave Paur (athletic director) oversaw the sports and Luz Flores (coordinating hall director) took charge of the students in the dorms." Allen also said that, for now, the camp director position will remain open.

Some questions were asked if the football camps would continue now that the goal posts have been removed from the football field. Paur said, "Yes (the football camps) will continue. Taking out the goal posts gives us an additional forty yards or so on the field. Now, instead of having one 100-yard field, we can have two 70 yard fields. The camps didn't use the goal posts anyway. It will also give us more room to run intramurals."

In regards to the future of the camps, Allen said that he would like to see more academic camps start up. The school just needs faculty members in various fields to become willing to help out during the summer and these camps could become a reality.

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