CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Wednesday was a bright spot on West Virginia's calendar, a yearly time that brings honor and respect to the Mountain State.It was the day more than 100 super-bright science students -- two from each state and others from foreign countries -- arrived at Yeager Airport on "fly-in day" for the 2013 National Youth Science Camp.
Volunteer hosts in the Charleston area went to the airport, picked up assigned students, fed them dinner, took them to the opening lecture at the Clay Center, put them in spare bedrooms for the night, then fed them breakfast this morning and will deliver the outstanding teens to buses that convey them to the mountain retreat where they undergo a month of intensive science training and outdoor fun.
Luckily, this year, enough local families volunteered to host all the brilliant youths. In the past, the number of guest homes sometimes fell short, and some of the visitors slept on cots and sleeping bags at First Presbyterian Church. They're adventurous teens and don't mind this makeshift camp-in -- but it's better if friendly hosts give them a more personal welcome for their West Virginia stay. Each host family serves as a first taste of this state.
Therefore, for next year, Kanawha Valley folks who want to help the Science Camp perform its superb mission -- and who have a vacant bedroom available -- may wish to register as potential hosts. They may call the National Youth Science Foundation at (304) 205-9724, or fax the nonprofit organization at (866) 833-0875, or send email to off...@nysf.com.
Every year, it's inspiring when the gifted, conscientious, clean-cut science campers arrive for their West Virginia visit. Since the camp began in West Virginia's centennial year, 1963, nearly 5,000 have experienced the visit. Most have gone on to top universities and careers in science and medicine. Many have fond memories of the Mountain State and return to help the camp in later years.
As we said, the National Youth Science Camp enhances West Virginia. The gifted visitors offer bright hope for America's future.