Summer campers invade Hanover

by Karen Rose | 7/1/96 5:00am

With the onslaught of summer, thousands of campers have invaded Dartmouth's campus to practice their tennis game, perfect their French accent and sharpen their debate skills in the numerous camps and workshops offered at the College.

Dartmouth is a very popular spot for summer camps, said Director of Conferences and Events Linda Hathorn. The college hosts and sponsors 15 sports camps in addition to many programs and workshops.

"As they say in real estate, it is all about location, location and location," she said.

Dartmouth's location near the junction of interstates 89 and 91 make it convenient for those traveling north and south from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Hathorn said.

"Most of the camps are run by our [Dartmouth] coaches, so it is much easier for the coaches if the camps are offered here," she added.

Safety also plays an important role.

"I am sure parents would feel much safer sending their children off to Dartmouth's campus as opposed to camps at city schools," Hathorn said.

Camps are offered for people of all ages, with sports camps accommodating children as young as ten years old and the Alumni College and Accelerated Language Programs hosting much older campers.

Dartmouth's mandatory Summer term puts pressure on the space and resources the College can allot to summer camps, Hathorn said.

"We only have so much space," she said. "Camps require a lot of residential and classroom space."

Summer camp and workshop participants are housed in the River, East Wheelock, Hitchcock, Choates, and Fayerweather clusters, and New Hampshire and Wheeler halls, she said.


Over 3,000 campers will come to Dartmouth in order to participate in one of the 15 sports camps offered at the College.

Some of the camps, such as men's basketball and John Lyon's Instructional Football, are instructed by Dartmouth coaches, but the College also hosts national sports camps, including the Nike Tennis, Nike Jr. Golf, girl's basketball All Star, Lightning Soccer, Gold Medal Running and the Kinyon/Jones Tennis camps.

The first camp to get underway was the Master's swimming camp which kicked off on June 16. The Lightning Soccer and Kinyon/Jones Tennis camps follow the next day.

The camps run through the entire summer, concluding with the squash camp ending on August 18.

One of the larger camps is the Elite Hockey camp, which will accommodate 625 female ice hockey players in four sessions running from June 30 to August 3.

Two hundred twenty high school football players will participate in Head Football Coach John Lyon's Instructional Football camp which runs from July 14 to July 18.

The two sections of the Bob Whalen Baseball Camp and the Master's Swim Camp are smaller, accommodating 50 and 20 students, respectively.

The camps run for various durations. The Class Lacrosse and Classic Elite Lacrosse camps run for four days, while the Elite [Ice] Hockey, Nike Tennis and Kinyon/Jones Tennis camps run for two,

four and five weeks, respectively

Most camps, such as the Lightning Soccer camp, instruct youngsters ten years or older. However, one of the two sections of the squash camps is exclusively for adults.

Accelerated Language Programs

In addition to sports, the College offers various workshops and conferences over the summer.

Professor of French and Italian John Rassias draws adults from around the country to participate in the Accelerated Language Programs where the irreverent instructor entertains students with his infamous antics, such as smashing eggs over his students' heads.

For ten days, participants come to immerse themselves in the Rassias Method of language instruction taught at over 600 schools and universities around the world.

Through a mix of small master classes and intimate drills (complete with finger-snapping and Dartmouth teaching assistants) students are encouraged to overcome the inhibitions inherent in learning a new language, which Rassias emphasizes by ripping off his shirt the night before classes start.

The ten-day course is offered to students of various abilities, ranging from beginner to advanced, and languages taught include French, Spanish, Russian, Modern Greek, Japanese, Swedish, Chinese, Portuguese and English as a second language.

In addition to classes and drills, students participate in various cultural events, which range from celebrating a Spanish fiesta to watching French films, performing skits or drinking German beer and singing German songs.

The program is open to anyone 17 years of age or older and participants are likely to include college students hoping to gain credit, business executives, high school teachers and world travelers.

ALPs conclude with the traditional procession through Hanover to the Bema, where students receive accolades for completing the arduous program.


Dartmouth attracts some of the best high school debaters in the country for its two summer debate programs: the Dartmouth Juniors Workshop and the Dartmouth Debate Institute.

"The Dartmouth Juniors program is for the most talented debaters who will be going into their junior year in high school," said Steven Lehotsky '99, a debate instructor and librarian. Students hail from over 20 different states.

Fifty-four high school juniors are participating in the program along with eleven high school 'senior assistants,' who were selected by Dartmouth Debate Coach Ken Strange, the institute director, he said.

The selection process for interested debaters is highly competitive, Lehotsky said.

"Participants are selected based upon their performance at debate tournaments and by recommendations from their coaches," he said. "The best high school debaters in the country come to Dartmouth for this program."

The Dartmouth Debate Institute is larger than Dartmouth Juniors Workshop, accommodating 128 students entering their junior or senior year in high school. Admission into this program is as competitive as the Dartmouth Juniors Workshop.

Participants in both programs learn advanced methods of argumentation.

"They are taught how to present arguments more efficiently and persuasively, how to structure their rhetoric better," Lehotsky said. "Most importantly at these programs, they learn how to structure an argument, and how to find out what are the best arguments against and for different issues."

"The great thing about these two programs is that they really encourage the debaters to think for themselves about argument. These programs give them the structure, the method, to initiate a critical inquiry on a given topic," he added.

Lehotsky stressed that winning is not the program's sole goal. He said they learn skills that are helpful in other areas of their academic life, such as writing papers and delivering presentations.

However, much time will be devoted to researching and preparing arguments for this year's national debate topic: Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a program to reduce substantially juvenile crime in the United States.

The College has offered the Dartmouth Juniors workshop since the summer of 1991 and the Dartmouth Debate Institute since the summer of 1984.

In addition to Strange, debate instructors from universities around the country provide instruction for campers.

At the Dartmouth Juniors Workshop, Strange teaches with David Baker of St. Mark's High School in Dallas, Andre Hylton '96, and Marc Wilson '96.

Professors from Dartmouth, The University of North Carolina, Georgia State University, Emory University, University of Texas, University of Pittsburgh and other schools instruct debaters at the Dartmouth Debate Institute.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!