The Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth
June 20 - July 10, 2021
I first came to VAMPY purely for the academics. I went in thinking, “I'm going to take a class and be done with it.” Then I got here, and I realized I was making friendships that were going to last a lifetime. It was so life-changing for me. I've been allowed to be so open, to find myself, and to really express who I truly am. That's what's made me want to keep coming back — to keep bettering myself.
— Coleman Reed, VAMPY 2016-19
I was never introduced to the world of philosophy until my third year at VAMPY, when I took Humanities. It was mind blowing, and it put a fire inside of me. Philosophy is now one of my favorite subjects.
— Nate Pennington, VAMPY 2016-19
I can say without a doubt that the person I am today is because of this camp. I decided to make a shift to being the person I am at VAMPY when I'm at home as well, to be more outgoing and positive and inclusive. It’s helped me to make better friends and to enjoy life more.
— Nolan Beasely, VAMPY 2016-19
Last year, I took DNA and Genetics, and I discovered a love for biology. I never thought that science would be my favorite subject, but now I want to major in biology because of VAMPY.
— Emma Latherow, VAMPY 2016-19
My first year at VAMPY, I took Presidential Politics, and a big aspect of that course was debating. I was one of the youngest in the class, and the thought of having to debate older students scared me so much. Then, after the first time I did it, I realized I could hold my own. That experience set me on a path of taking harder classes at school because I realized that I had more potential than I had thought.
— Chloe Cox, VAMPY 2016-19
A three-week residential camp held in June and July, VAMPY offers high-ability students who have finished grades 7–10 the chance to focus on one course during six class hours each weekday plus a nightly hour-long study hall. Classes are taught by highly motivated WKU faculty and area high school teachers who are thrilled to have equally highly motivated students.
Students arrive at the WKU campus from counties around Kentucky, states across the nation, and countries all over the world to form a community of diverse backgrounds and interests. For gifted and talented students who crave knowledge, academic challenge, and peers who accept them as they are, VAMPY offers a life-changing world of both learning and friendship.
The primary emphasis of VAMPY is academics. VAMPY’s rigorous educational environment reminds students that learning is an enjoyable process as they spend three weeks immersed in a topic of their choosing that ignites their curiosity. Unlike “regular” school, VAMPY classes are centered on the students’ interests and consistently challenge them. Says camper Hollis Maxon (VAMPY 2016-19), “It's all the best parts of school — learning, growing with friends, bettering yourself — but without the negatives of stress and pressure." For a list of last year’s courses, go here.
When not in class, campers participate in a wide range of activities that bring them together as a community. Ask students what the other campers are like, and they’ll respond with answers like, “family,” “accepting,” and “universally kind.” Says camper Phoebe Wagoner (VAMPY 2016-19) "Not only am I the best person I can be here, but everyone else is too. Being around people who are all being their best selves and trying to make the community as positive and as welcoming as they possibly can for everyone else is such a breath of fresh air." Many camp activities are created by their counselors, most of whom are college students who attended VAMPY themselves. While they compete in Capture the Flag or make chalk art during evening Optionals; attend cookouts, baseball games, or dances on the weekends; or play endless card games with their hallmates, campers make friendships that can last a lifetime.
Since 1984, The Center for Gifted Studies, through a cooperative agreement with the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP), has made the VAMPY experience the centerpiece of summer for hundreds of students.
Some need-based financial assistance is available for campers for whom the expense might prevent attendance. Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (270) 745-6323 for more information.
The Bowling Green Daily News wrote about VAMPY in a 2017 front-page article: WKU hosts summer camp for gifted students.
This is a place where I found myself. I'm just so lucky to have been here.
— Hannah Jawed, VAMPY 2015-18
For a lot of my educational career, I've been “the smart one.” Once I went to VAMPY, I
had to find my own identity beyond that. That's really empowering.
— Christian Butterfield, VAMPY 2015-18