LiveBIG Staff, July 8, 2017

For many, camp is an integral part of any summer experience and the Big Ten is no different. But the LiveBIG camping experience is more than just tents, bug juice and campfire songs; it brings together generations, challenges minds and even hits the high seas. Over the new few months, we?ll bring you stories of how your Big Ten school spends its summer vacation.

For those who love the great outdoors, summer often means camping out. For young kids, Level 1 Camping means pitching a tent in the backyard and sleeping underneath the stars…until you hear a weird noise and decide it's better to sleep in your own bed.

Then there are the day camps: A good stretch of 6-8 hours that mashes up the fun parts of school with playing outside while giving parents a good excuse to nap.

This month at the University of Illinois, a group of students will learn how to develop as writers –  developing their individual voices and working within a small ad hoc community.

Illinois' Young Writers Camps are an annual event every July and August for students in grades 1 through 12. Students hang out on campus, learn various writing styles and develop their work by sharing it with others.

For the younger students, the camps emphasize group work creating comic strips, fairytales and short stories. For the high school-aged kids, the challenge is in longer forms: novels, poetry and flash fiction.

In a 2012 article in The News-Gazette, one teenage student described the experience:

Christelle Panumpabi, who is 15 and will be a sophomore at Centennial High School in Champaign next year, said she came into the camp wanting to learn more about writing in a memoir style that incorporates both her own experiences and information she's learned from others in interviews.

She said she's enjoyed learning more about other genres too, like "steampunk," which incorporates science and historical fiction, as well as what the camp calls writing marathons, where the students try writing in different outdoor environments.

Though this year's camp is now sold out, more information about it can be found here.