Indiana State University Newsroom



Nonprofit Leadership students partner with YMCA

April 10, 2017

The bodies and minds of students from the Vigo County School Corp. remained active through educational and interactive lessons at the recent YMCA Spring Break Camp.

Spring Break Camp was co-hosted by Indiana State University's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program and the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley Vigo County branch. The purpose of the camp was to ensure State students received a hands-on learning experience while providing Vigo County students with an educational and fun environment through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and FIT activities.

The camp was held March 27-31, during spring break for the Vigo County School Corp. Approximately 50 students, ranging from 4 years of age to 14, were present each day.

Conducting spring break camp is incorporated into the recreation management and youth leadership and nonprofit leadership majors as a required course. The planning process for the Experience Management Cycle course began in August when students focused on program evaluation planning, logic modeling, program budgeting and promotion. At the beginning of the spring semester, students directed their attention to activity leadership and program planning. These tasks allowed students to complete work that is directly correlated to their future occupation and provides hands-on, real-world experience.

"This program has us touching on everything," said Kaylynn Kirkpatrick, a junior recreation and sport management major. "From doing the actual activities and collecting data to also working on the program budget, I think it's given us an all-around experience that sitting through a lecture or taking an exam simply cannot do. You can't learn actually what you're going to go through until you do it. You can't plan enough for it. This opportunity has taught me more than just working with kids."

Indiana State students were responsible for planning and leading the activities 8-11 a.m. Monday-Friday. This allowed for their work and effort throughout the past year to shine through and provided them with experience in this field.

Students obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation and sport management with one of three concentrations in nonprofit leadership, recreation management/youth leadership, or recreation therapy are required to complete these courses. Throughout the courses, the students learned key information that directly correlate to the outcomes of spring break camp.

"Spring break camp is a critically strategic partnership and really a win-win-win situation," explained Nathan Schaumleffel, associate professor of kinesiology, recreation and sport and campus/executive director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program. "The students, the community partner and the faculty member all gain something out of this strategic partnership. For the students, they're working towards the learning outcomes from the class they are in, the YMCA is meeting benchmarks within their strategic plan through the camp, and for the faculty, we are able to provide a hands-on-learning environment for our students."

As Indiana State students are working to further their education, they are also ensuring educational growth for the students of the Vigo County School Corp. The main emphasis of the camp was focused on inspiring healthy lives while integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics within the program participants. STEM activities allow youth to develop knowledge to excel as future creators, thinkers, problem solvers, doers, innovators, and inventors.

"This program benefits all involved -- ISU, the community, recreation and sport management students, the YMCA and the kids," said Kaitlyn Smith, a junior recreation and sport management major. "I think this camp gets ISU's name out and really helps focus on the values of community engagement and community involvement because we are doing this work on campus and then we are taking it back into the community. This course has really immersed us into that because you're in the classroom setting and you're in the college bubble a little bit, but then you see the other side of it and you're in the community dealing with parents and kids and different backgrounds. It allows you to see both sides of it; achieving the learning outcomes for the class itself and helping the kids achieve their outcomes for spring break camp."

The overall goal when implementing this program/ activity was to ensure all involved were reaping the benefits -- ISU, YMCA and the families.

"I think it has been a wonderful partnership because we get the opportunity to have people interact with campers who have the book knowledge, the education to supplement what we're doing with our staff," said Deb Ringo, CEO of the Wabash Valley YMCA. "We also have the opportunity to provide a valuable opportunity for the students. I've had the unique opportunity to be in my office as they debrief the students at the end of the day and for many of them they thought it would be easier to work with an actual group of kids and deal with all of the things that come up though it's been good for them to experience in the real world what they're actually learning in the classroom. Bottom line, our campers win. The kids that are involved and the families that are involved at the Y get the best of both worlds."

As spring break concluded on Friday, students of the course returned to the classroom to analyze, report, visualize and present the program evaluation to the YMCA.

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Photo: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Media-Health-and-Human-Perform/YMCA-Camp-2017/i-CBqjzdn/0/XL/March%2029%2C%202017%20YMCA%204271-XL.jpg - An Indiana State University student hugs children during the spring break camp, March 27-30, co-hosted by Indiana State University - Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program and the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley - Vigo County Branch.

Photo: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Media-Health-and-Human-Perform/YMCA-Camp-2017/i-5Dm6Hhf/0/XL/March%2029%2C%202017%20YMCA%204272-XL.jpg - An Indiana State University student helps a child with directions during an activity at the spring break camp, March 27-30, co-hosted by Indiana State University - Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program and the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley - Vigo County Branch.

Photo: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Media-Health-and-Human-Perform/YMCA-Camp-2017/i-D7b9SFV/0/XL/March%2029%2C%202017%20YMCA%204345-XL.jpg - An Indiana State University student plays with children during an activity at the spring break camp, March 27-30, co-hosted by Indiana State University - Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program and the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley - Vigo County Branch.

Writers: Emily Davis, edavis52@sycamores.indstate.edu and Elizabeth (Beth) Mauder, emauder@sycamores.indstate.edu

Story Highlights

A Spring Break Camp was co-hosted by Indiana State University's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program and the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley Vigo County branch.

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