DYWC Camp Host to Foreign Students
by Adhya Khare and Lisha Li
Aug. 2, 2017
DURHAM – Duke University East Campus is home to many summer programs for students who are looking to further their education. The Duke Young Writers’ Camp is just one of these programs.
This year, the camp has been host to students from not only all over the United States, but also the world. People who love writing are all gathered together and getting inspired by each other. The camp is open to day-campers, who are at the camp from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and residential campers, who stay at Duke University for the 12 days of camp (including the weekends).
There are four major sections no matter which type of camper you are. The morning class, lunch, afternoon class, and reader’s forum. The morning classes of about a dozen students are split between grade levels (middle school or high school) and genre interests (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.). Lunch is a joint activity for all campers. Afternoon classes are similar to morning classes as they appeal to the student’s interests in what they want to learn. Lastly, readers’ forum is a time allotted for participants to share their writing pieces in front of an attentive audience.
Katharina Schnedl, a high-school day-camper from Austria, had found out about the camp by herself and looked forward to being in a crowd of like-minded people. In Austria, she had been a counselor at a swimming camp. The experience and structure were much different than how it is at Duke, so she didn’t really know what to expect before she came to camp. She simply looked forward to improving her use of the English language, write her college essay, and make many international friends.
At Duke Young Writers’ Camp, Schnedl took Wordsmithery in the morning and college essay writing class in the afternoon.
“It is a very creative class, challenging my knowledge of the language and their sayings as well as making me think outside of the box, ” Schnedl said of her morning class.
Another student, Greta Morgenstern, a high-school residential camper from Japan, chose to come here because she wanted to participate in a camp based on writing. Other summer courses she had been to had not been dorm or college based. She liked how the camp imitates the college experience very well.
“I expected a good writing space where I could focus and practice writing,” said Morgenstern. The courses she takes have definitely supplemented that need.
Like Schnedl, Morgenstern took Wordsmithery in the morning. She liked how the class taught her how to play with time and a linear narrative. In the afternoon, Morgenstern further enhanced her writing through her multi-genre writing class.
A special part of Duke Young Writers’ Camp is the afternoon readers’ forum. Standing in front of a crowd is never easy and only gets harder when you aren’t in a place of familiarity. The first time, Schnedl was standing on the stage of the White Hall during the forum, she read her piece “I Ain’t Dead Yet.” Everyone in the auditorium started snapping and cheering. She stepped off the stage with a beaming smile on her face. Her newfound confidence in her voice twinkled in her eyes.
“It is definitely astonishment,” said Schnedl, “because after just five days at camp my creativity boomed and being surrounded by so many talented people brings so much inspiration and motivation that I was surprised how much I wrote in just five days.”
Morgenstern could be seen laughing joyously with her friends at lunch. A broad smile of comfort adorns her face. She talks vivaciously and listens attentively.
On the first meeting of Duke Young Writers’ Camp, Mitch Cox, the DYWC academic director, said that in this camp there are people from all over the world. Schnedl and Morgenstern are a few of them. They are both “inspired, creative and proud” to be a part of session three of Duke Young Writers’ Camp.