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The Summer Camp for Academically Talented Middle School Students

June 6 - 18, 2021

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It’s my second home. It’s somewhere where I feel comfortable being myself.

— Addie Blankinship, SCATS 2016-18

I've enjoyed being able to work at a faster pace. I love the teachers here because if you have a question, they can go in depth with their answer. It's very exciting.

— Halle Burton, SCATS 2020


I really like hanging out with people who have similar interests to mine.

— David Abel, SCATS 2016-18

You get to talk to people who actually know what you're talking about. That's a huge thing for me.

— Cade Howell, SCATS 2017-19

For anyone who is gifted, SCATS is something you absolutely have to do. It's an experience I have trouble doing justice to through words.

— Matthew Feragola, SCATS 2018-19

When my mom like picked me up at the end of SCATS, I didn’t want to leave because I’d realized that there's people like me here. I made so many friends.

— Maggie McCloud , SCATS 2018-19


A two-week camp held in June, SCATS offers high-ability students who have finished grades 6–8 a unique learning environment to explore new ideas, develop concepts, make friends, and share experiences. Students arrive at the WKU campus from counties around Kentucky, states across the nation, and countries around the world to challenge themselves academically and to meet like-minded peers with diverse backgrounds and interests.

Students may choose the residential or the nonresidential option. Residential campers participate in evening and weekend activities and live on WKU's campus in an air-conditioned residence hall under the supervision of camp counselors; nonresidential students attend classes, eat lunch with their fellow campers, and return home in the afternoon.

SCATS provides a diverse curriculum and a wide range of enrichment experiences for about 200 middle school students every summer. Course options change each year but always range from the arts and humanities to mathematics and sciences. From a list of about 30 classes, students rank their top ten choices and are placed in four, which they attend every weekday.

Teachers are drawn from the WKU faculty, outstanding area teachers, and students in the WKU graduate program in gifted studies. They structure their courses around students’ interests and understand how to go beyond the limitations of the traditional classroom to allow students to learn at higher levels and to think and create in their own ways. Courses change each year; for a list of the most recent courses, go here.

Though academics are at the heart of SCATS, emphasis is also placed on the social aspects of camp. Campers participate in a wide range of activities, many of which are created by their counselors, most of whom are college students who attended SCATS themselves. Whether they are competing in Ultimate Frisbee, making friendship bracelets, eating at cookouts, or playing card games, campers come together as a community where everyone is accepted and learning is celebrated.

In many cases, the friendships students form at SCATS are life-long. “It’s not just a learning camp,” one participant remarked. “It’s a place where you feel accepted, loved, and respected by your friends. It's a place you will never want to leave.”

Some need-based financial assistance is available for campers for whom the expense might prevent attendance. Contact us by emailing gifted@wku.edu or by calling (270) 745-6323 for more information.

Learn more about the SCATS experience by exploring the stories and photo galleries from recent years.

SCATS Information 


Application Process

The SCATS Experience



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 Last Modified 10/13/20