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WILMORE, Ky. — At first, the singing voices were barely audible over the hum of lunchtime conversation in Asbury University’s cafeteria. More and more people joined in, though, and soon an entire table had caught the tune and found their place in a rousing chorus of “Row, row, row your boat.”

Infectious moments of fun were commonplace at Asbury this week as the University wrapped up two weeks of ImpactU camps, a series of high-school academic camps that combined faculty-led instruction in different subject areas with old-fashioned camp recreation.

Asbury University ImpactU campsFor example, students in the Environmental Science & Biotechnology camp spent mornings at a local watershed, inventorying different species of fish and mollusks, while students in the Theatre & Film Acting camp practiced Meisner technique exercises between takes of the Film camp’s group film projects. In the evenings, campers could go canoeing on the Kentucky River or conquer their fears on Asbury’s high-ropes Challenge Course, among other activities.

“You’re either hanging out with friends, worshiping God or making movies,” said Elijah Watson, a Plant City, Fla., Film II camp student. “I’ve been to different camps, and I’ve learned more here than all the others combined.”

Celeste Rehmel, a senior from Lexington, Ky., also appreciated the integration of writing exercises, practical advice on getting published, exposure to different forms of writing and Christian beliefs into the Creative Writing camp.

“It’s been really good spending the week with people who enjoy the same things I do,” she said. “The first day we touched on how, as Christians, we need to write the truth — not necessarily to preach, but write the truth. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in second grade, and I feel my calling is write to heal the broken, so remembering to always write God’s truth really hit home for me.”

Dozens of Asbury classes are open to qualified high-school seniors through the Asbury Academy program, a dual-enrollment program that features both online and on-campus options. The application deadline for the Fall 2014 semester is August 11; for more information, visit