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C.A.M.P. at The Woods participants travel abroad to Galapágos Islands

News | 02.22.2024
Students from the EV 150 and GL 150 C.A.M.P. Courses traveled abroad to the Galapágos Islands.

In June 2023, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) hosted its first inaugural Challenging Ambitions and Maximizing Potential (C.A.M.P.) at The Woods, a week-long collegiate-level education program for high school students. As a part of the program, multiple courses offered a study abroad component. In January, Bob Jackson, director of pre-college outreach at SMWC, led nine students who participated in the EV 150 Applied Methods of Environmental Sustainability classes on a travel abroad experience to the Galapágos Islands, Ecuador. The students who attended the study abroad event were:

  • Kate Baldwin – Ben Davis High School
  • Leah Overpeck – Ben Davis High School
  • Makenzie (Venus) Sweeney – Ben Davis High School
  • Stella Hargis – Purdue Polytechnical Institute
  • Sophia Miranda – Terre Haute South Vigo High School
  • Nick Caldwell – Terre Haute South Vigo High School
  • Gabe Egan – Terre Haute South Vigo High School
  • Savannah Wilkins – Terre Haute North Vigo High School
  • Renee Pierce – Terre Haute North Vigo High School
Students snorkeling in the Galapágos Islands.

“The students had some truly incredible experiences, which included cultural immersion as well as learning about environmental sustainability in the Galapágos Islands,” said Jackson. The students experienced eating most days from what the locals call “farm to table,” where they ate fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and meats and drank fresh juice daily that was sourced locally. “Being up close with animals that exist nowhere else in the world was quite the experience.” The students learned about the unique species found exclusively in the Galapágos Islands, including blue-footed boobies, the Galapágos turtles, sea lions, Darwin’s 17 species of finches, a variety of marine species and very large manta rays. 

Bob Jackson, director of pre-college outreach at SMWC and instructor for the C.A.M.P. at The Woods course, EV-150.

The trip to the Galapágos Islands, considered one of the world’s foremost ecological sites to visit in the world, was chosen for the travel abroad experience to provide opportunities for these students to visit the Galapágos Science Center, the La Galapaguera Turtle Breeding Center (with the infamous Galapágos turtles), the Hacienda Tranquila Sustainability Farm and to experience snorkeling over coral reefs around Isla Lobos offshore from San Cristobal island.

C.A.M.P. at The Woods offered five different classes during the summer that participating students could attend. Three classes offered a study abroad component. The classes and faculty-led study abroad experience were fully funded by grant funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Indiana Youth Programs on Campus.

For more information about C.A.M.P. at The Woods, visit https://www.smwc.edu/camp-at-the-woods-faqs/