By Kara Witherow, Editor
Emma Chloe Arnold has had her sights set on college since middle school.
The 16-year-old, a junior at Seminole County High School in Donalsonville, toured more than a dozen college campuses last February as part of Campus Crawl, a bus tour designed to introduce ninth through twelfth grade students to Georgia’s United Methodist campus ministries, colleges, and, universities.
Sponsored and organized by the Georgia UMCommission on Higher Education and Collegiate Ministry, Campus Crawl will hit the road again in 2019, from Feb. 28 through March 3, 2019. Arnold says she’ll be going again, too, since she’s a junior and even more focused on her collegiate future.
“Since I’m older and really thinking about college now I need to go on it again to make sure I know which college is the best for me,” she said.
Before last year’s Campus Crawl, she thought she would attend the University of Georgia. Now, having toured several college and university campuses, Arnold, who hopes to be either a pediatrician, pharmacist, or children’s minister, isn’t quite sure.
“You grow up in Georgia, you want to go to UGA,” she said. “(Campus Crawl) was very eye opening to see other colleges that are really good that you can go to.”
Before last year’s Campus Crawl tour, Arnold had visited a few college campuses but hadn’t had the opportunity to experience any campus ministries or Wesley Foundations. Being part of a vibrant, active, welcoming, Christian faith community is important to Arnold, who is a member of Friendship United Methodist Church in Donalsonville and Vienna United Methodist Church’s youth ministry, so the prospect of learning more about various campus ministries was one she couldn’t pass up.
Arnold was struck at the overwhelming hospitality she and the other students encountered on campus and at the campus ministries. She was impressed that Dr. Vivia Fowler, president of Wesleyan College, met with and spoke to the group.
“Everyone was just so nice and welcoming to everyone,” she said. “They made sure everyone was included; everyone got a chance to ask questions.”
During the Campus Crawl weekend, high school students from both the North and South Georgia Conferences will meet representatives from United Methodist Colleges and Universities in Georgia as well as meet several Wesley Foundations on public university campuses. Stops on this year’s tour include: Oxford College, Young Harris College, Reinhardt University, Kennesaw State Wesley, Clark Atlanta, Georgia Tech Wesley, Emory University, LaGrange College, Andrew College, Wesleyan College, Mercer University Wesley, Augusta Wesley, Paine College, UGA Wesley, and more.
Arnold’s mother, Jennifer, is thankful her daughter has this opportunity.
“(As a parent) you just can’t get it all in,” she said of visiting colleges. “They went to places I just didn’t even think of going. I’ve been telling all my parent friends that their children need to go on this. I’ve been encouraging everyone I know that has a high schooler to let them go on this. I think it’s a fantastic experience.”
The cost of $75 per student includes a tour bus, meals, lodging, and a t-shirt. The deadline to receive the early-bird rate of $75 is Nov. 15. After Nov. 15 the price increases to $100. After Jan. 15, 2019, the price increases to $125.
Click here to reserve your seat on the bus.
For more information, contact Suzanne Akins at the Office of Connectional Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org or (912) 638-8626 ext.107.