This archived article was written by: Tadd Mecham
In the summer, USU Eastern houses a number of sports and educational programs for high school students.
Since 1998, the summer camps/special programs have netted nearly $3 million in revenue. It also facilitates the recruiting of prospective students by hosting thousands of people looking into USU Eastern as a possible location for furthering education. This summer alone hosted over 1,800 student participants and a few hundred adults.
Summer programs brought in over $186,000 in revenue this summer. That revenue could have been higher, but the summer programs staff spent extra money on improving both the football field, and the Durrant School property north of the football field. High school football coaches commented all summer on how much those particular fields were improved tenfold.
Not only does the summer camps show off the campus, but also the hospitality. Scott Madsen, summer programs assistant stated, “the Mountain View High School (Orem) coaches told us they felt like they were at a five-star hotel because of our hospitality. That is something we wanted to focus on this year.”
Ninety percent of the operating expenses end up being spent on campus. This benefits campus services such as: athletics, housing, dining services, bookstore, and it also creates on-campus employment opportunities. Without summer programs, many campus businesses and departments would suffer. The remaining money goes back into the community surrounding campus, benefiting from the large amount of tourism given by the large amounts of people that purchase gas, food, and general shopping around the area.
The summer camps have always been operating profitably and efficiently, and have supplied both the community and the college with significant benefits. This will continue to increase, as it has for the last several years.
Some of the participants in this summer’s camps were the 5A state football champions from Bingham High School, which brought 200 visitors to the campus. There were other football camps that included Timpanogos, East, Lone Peak, Westlake, and Mt. View high schools. The other sports programs included both girls and boys basketball and cross-country, in which a number of high schools were represented.
Gear Up and Upward Bound programs were hosted on campus as well. These programs purposes are to expose prospective students to the college experience. The summer programs have been an excellent recruiting tool. Scott Madsen stated, “ KC (Smurthwaite), did an excellent job on helping the camps run smoothly, but also made sure most students left with information about the school. These kids don’t even know about this school when they get here. That’s huge.”
Eastern also hosted several family reunions and youth conferences. In all there were 18 groups hosted in the 10 weeks of summer available.
During the regular school year, the nine months of fall and spring semester, the camps are no longer active. During this time period, the time is spent planning, organizing and pricing for the next summer’s schedule. “ Scott and I have a few ideas up our sleeves we will be implementing to grow these programs for next year,” stated KC Smurthwaite.
The planning for the schedule of summer 2012 has already begun. Many camps are already marked on the calendar. Marketing activities, which include web promotion, e-mail, telephone calls, and personal visits will begin as early as November and will continue through spring. The summer staff includes housing (Blaney Hanvey), dining services ( Becky Archibald, maintenance ( James Prettyman and Kyle Willis ), coaches (KC Smurthwaite and Dave Paur), and student, community workers. The entire staff always does their best to make the visitors feel welcome. Year after year many groups come, even when being frequently solicited to go elsewhere.
The summer programs will continue to grow and are always on the lookout for new opportunities. Daniel Allen was hired in February of 1999 to replace Steve Bringhurst, the former director of special programs. Upon leaving, Bringhurst left the program empty of scheduled events for summers to come, files and records were missing, and many major camps transferred permanently to Dixie College.
They managed to piece the program back together and restore it to be greater than its former potential. Allen also took on the responsibility of associate vice president a few years later, while still managing the special programs.
In December 2008, Allen accepted a teaching position at Utah State University. He does this nine months out of the year, during which time the planning for summer programs happens through baseball coaches Scott Madsen and KC Smurthwaite. Allen says “it’s a minor conflict with my full-time teaching responsibilities.”
The summer programs continue to flourish thanks to the hard work and organization of the entire staff involved in making it possible.