Every year, hundreds of students flock to the Duke Young Writers' Camp in Durham, NC, and come back with an understanding of many things in addition to writing. Of course, these discoveries are often reflected in campers' writing. Whether they appear in poetry, short stories, or videos, it is clear that campers find much to write about. They are able to share their experiences and feelings, past or present, in a one-hour session called "Reader's Forum," when all are given the chance to showcase their talents by reading a piece.
During the mornings, campers attend two pre-selected classes which range from poetry and newspaper production to video production, and sessions are lead by an outstanding, experienced and enthusiastic staff.
Of course, campers enjoy themselves in other ways as well. They can sign up for activities including baseball games, movies, and trips. They are also given free time to enjoy a walk with a friend, play a favorite sport, or just relax in their room.
The dorms are comfortable and give campers a good sense of college life. While some find the 11:00 curfew a bit strict, most find plenty of time to socialize and meet new friends. The meals, while far from delectable, usually satisfy.
At the end of the two-week session, campers, relatives, and teachers gather at a celebration where highlights are commemorated. It is hard to find one camper who isn't heartbroken at the thought of leaving these new friendships. And, many find themselves coming back year after year to take different classes, meet more people, and relive the Duke Young Writers' Camp experience. Y
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.