Wise OWjLs

Summer camp teachers flock back to Ohio Wesleyan

Mary Tinsley, coordinator for the Image Academy of Columbus, has been teaching dance at OWjL for 12 years. Here she leads students in the chorography of the famous Michael Jackson music video ‘Thriller.’ Photo by Shane Wepprich ’12.

This group of Ohio Wesleyan University visitors enjoys their summer camp experience so much that they come back year after year.

They are the dedicated instructors of the annual Ohio Wesleyan Junior League of Columbus camp, better known as OWjL. Now in its 29th year, the camp allows gifted sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students to spend a week on campus exploring classes in mathematics and computing, science, humanities, and creative development.

Mary Tinsley, a coordinator for the Image Academy of Columbus, has been teaching dance at OWjL for 12 years. She has taught classes such as “Ballroom Boot Camp” and “Thrill the World,” during which students re-enact the choreography from Michael Jackson’s classic “Thriller” music video.

“I come because I enjoy working with the students at OWjL, and I love sharing my knowledge and passion for dance,” says Tinsley.

OWU alumnus Jon Brush ’75 has been teaching OWjL classes for about 15 years. Brush, a teacher for a French immersion school, helps instruct a mock trial held in Delaware’s City Council chambers. This class allows students to prosecute, defend, and stand as witnesses in front of a judge and jury recruited from the community.

Jon Brush ’75 swears in the jury during a mock trial for OWjL campers. The trials were held in Delaware’s City Council chamber and had local attorneys serving as judges. Brush has been teaching OWjL classes for about 15 years and also is a teacher for a French immersion school. Photo by Shane Wepprich ’12.

“On one of the evaluation forms this week, a camper wrote that he was able to overcome his fear of speaking in public by being a lawyer in the trial. I was very touched to read that,” says Brush.

Other teachers have been participating for more than 20 years. All are interested in helping OWjL students to learn that it’s OK to be smart and that other students share their interests.

In addition to the teachers, many of the OWjL students return later to serve as camp counselors. Typically, more than half of the counselors are former OWjL participants.

Click here to learn more about the OWjL program.

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