FutureVision Campus Crawl

16 Apr

Report from Katie Clayton, YWCA FutureVision High School Coordinator:

On the outside I was all smiles and enthusiasm. But here is a snippet of what was going on in my head at 7 a.m. on April 3: I packed my camera. I’ve got my shoes. Emergency numbers…check. WHERE’S THE FUTUREVISION CELL PHONE?? Oh, it’s in my hand. Got my backpack with the first aid kit, directions, and itinerary. My suitcase. WHERE IS MY SUITCASE?? Oh, someone already packed it on the mini bus.

Planning a 2 night/3 day college tour trip for 10 high school students, I’d found out, was a little stressful! Since this is the final year of FutureVision, and thus our final Campus Crawl trip, I wanted to go out with a bang, and so off to Wilmington, NC we went!

Four hours into our journey, our first stop was UNC Pembroke, the smallest school in the UNC system, with around 6,000 students. First on our to-do list: Lunch in the cafeteria. Students ate the essential foods necessary for survival during the college years: pizza and french fries. At UNC Pembroke there is more than meets the eye, as the school’s art program is expanding, and they have a small bowling alley in their student activity center! One student liked UNCP so much, she bought herself a UNCP lanyard and keychain.

Back on the road we went: 2 hours until we reached our final destination, Wrightsville Beach! Once we got settled into our rooms we gazed at the view before us and took in the sights of the sound and waterway. It was that perfect time of day where afternoon and evening meet and the setting golden sun makes everything it touches look like a hazy dream. Before going out to a late dinner at Wild Wing Café, we all walked out to the beach, which was on the other side of the hotel from us, and greeted the sea. Everyone was all smiles as we dipped our toes in the water. For a few, the excitement was too much and they decided to take a dip in their clothes! It was the perfect end to a long day on the road.

Day two started with an amazing buffet breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. French toast, pancakes, breakfast burritos, eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, grits, fruit, homemade yogurt. I think we all tried a little bit of everything. With our bellies full, we headed to UNC Wilmington. With 13,000 students, UNCW offers an array of degrees ranging from Film Studies to Nursing to International Relations. On top of all that, the campus was beautiful and was filled with students biking and skateboarding to class! Several FutureVision students loved the campus and commented that they could easily see themselves there for college, which is always a great thing to hear.

After lunch in the dining hall (more pizza and fries!), it was time to enjoy Wilmington and our access to the beach. Initially, the plan was to tour the Battleship. That was clearly a silly plan, though, because all 10 students said they’d rather go to the mall. After a quick tour of the mall, it was off to the beach! Students rented boogie boards from the hotel and boogie boarded their hearts out.

After beach time, we spent some more time on the water, but this time we took a sunset cruise on the sound and intercoastal waterway and learned about all the surrounding islands and wildlife. We finished up the day with a delicious dinner at Ruby Tuesday and then headed back to the hotel and crashed for the night—we’d had a busy day!

Day 3 was spent on the bus cruising down I-40W heading back to the mountains. It was a great time to reflect on a fun and educational trip. From seeing the student’s reactions to the schools to seeing them play on the beach (for a few of them, it was their fist beach trip!) to seeing them laugh and get to know each other better, the fourth and final Campus Crawl trip was a success.

*Name changed.

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