WMU News

'Camp Challenge' builds leadership skills

March 16, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University students seeking to hone their leadership and decision-making skills are invited to participate in a unique summer internship designed to train them for leadership and management positions in the Army--or perhaps in corporate America.

WMU's Military Science Program is looking for students completing their sophomore year who are interested in attending the Army ROTC Camp Challenge, a five-week paid summer internship in Fort Knox, Ky.

"Camp Challenge is an opportunity for students to practice and be evaluated on their leadership skills, like communication, decision making, planning and execution," says Maj. Tim Russell, scholarship and enrollment officer for WMU's ROTC program. "It is not basic training, but it is still a physically demanding, intense leadership training that introduces students to Army life. It is similar to the outdoor challenge programs that many corporations send their employees to. Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and educational institutions all actively recruit students with the kinds of skills developed at Camp Challenge."

Any full-time WMU sophomore (rising junior) who is a U.S. citizen between 17 and 30 years old and has a grade point average of at least 2.0 is eligible to apply for Camp Challenge. GPAs of 2.5 and above are preferred, and participants must meet military medical qualification standards. There is no commitment or obligation to the Army in return for the training.

Camp Challenge interns choose between seven sessions that run from June 7 through July 26. Airfare, room and board are free, and participants receive a stipend. Students with GPAs of 2.5 or better who successfully complete Camp Challenge are also eligible for full two-year scholarships from WMU's ROTC program.

"We always hope to plant a seed of interest about Army life in our Camp Challenge interns, but it is fundamentally a leadership training seminar, not an Army recruitment session," says Russell. "Even if the interns don't want to enroll in our ROTC program, they will gain some invaluable skills that can be put to use in their careers. Students really can't lose."

Part of the Haworth College of Business, WMU's Military Science Program is an elective academic minor through which students can qualify for the Reserve Officers Training Corps. The program stresses leadership and military skills training that prepares students for commissions as second lieutenants in the active Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard after they complete their baccalaureate degrees. ROTC programs train 70 percent of the officers in today's Army.

An information session about Camp Challenge will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in WMU's Oakland Gym. For details or to reserve a seat, contact Russell at (616) 387-8122 or <trussell@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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