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Central Ohio Middle School Students Expand Minds with University Experience
OWjL Residential Camp for Gifted Students Celebrates its 30th Year at Ohio Wesleyan University

June 9, 2011

OWjL Camp, 2010.
Photo by Laura Noyes
DELAWARE, OH – An estimated 538 middle school students from nine central Ohio counties will participate in the OWjL summer camp program at Ohio Wesleyan University in one of three weeklong sessions beginning June 12.

While living on the OWU campus, the talented and gifted students will take part in classes such as “Basic Robotics Using Lego Mindstorm NXT Robots,” “Murder in the Chem Lab,” “Gizmos and Gadgets: Hands-On Laws of Motion,” and “Adventures in Leadership.”

Pronounced “owl,” the camp’s acronym stands for Ohio Wesleyan/Junior League of Columbus, which founded the program 30 years ago. Ohio Wesleyan is the camp sponsor.

The sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students invited to attend OWjL camp are nominated by principals, guidance counselors, or teachers from schools in Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union counties. The students all have earned high test scores and demonstrated exceptional talent, creativity, or leadership skills.

OWjL camp offers fun but challenging courses in academic, cultural, recreational, and social areas. This year’s weeklong sessions run from June 12-17, June 19-24, and June 26-July 1. OWjL teachers include university professors, national board-certified secondary school teachers, teachers of gifted and talented students, and other experts in their fields. The counselors are students from Ohio Wesleyan and other Ohio colleges. Half of the counselors are former OWjL campers.

The OWjL program was developed and founded by the Junior League following a two-year study that determined gifted and talented middle school students were underserved during the school year with programs to promote discovery and foster skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, research, leadership, and communication. Studies indicate that more than 65 percent of Ohio’s identified gifted students receive no special services at school.

OWjL strives to assist approximately 20 percent of the campers with financial assistance, which totaled $50,415 last year. Sponsors include major central Ohio corporations, foundations, and individuals.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.