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Hillpoint students attend Scholars’ Camp

Alexis Martin, Harrison Storms and Jordan Cary have more in common that the fact they’ve all made Principal’s List for years.

The three stellar students were nominated to attend the National Young Scholars Program, where they will stay until Friday.

“We are very honored — very, very honored — that three of our students were chosen to attend this national camp,” Hillpoint Elementary Principal Ronald Leigh said. “Being a new school, we’re proud to show off the intellectual ability of our students.”

The program is for high-achieving third through fifth graders who have demonstrated academic success and leadership abilities.

“Their nomination and acceptance into the program shows they’re able to focus at such a young age,” Leigh said. “To make all As in every subject shows they can really buckle down and focus in the building and at home with all activities going on around them. It says a lot about their character as young people.”

Held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Maryland and the St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, the camp is designed to help inspire students to explore, invent, learn and think creatively.

“The National Young Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on, interactive learning, while challenging them in an intellectually stimulating environment outside their classroom,” the program’s Dean of Academic Affairs Marguerite Regan said.

After the students were nominated and accepted, Hillpoint held a fundraiser to raise money to send them to camp. About $1,000 was raised and divided among the three students.

Throughout the week, the students have been participating in coursework in their respective tracks and have been able to engage in activities, including solving a “whodunit” through working in a model forensics lab.

“[Harrison] called at 6:40 this morning, so excited about the day,” Debbie Storms, Harrison’s mom, said. “Yesterday, they learned how a butter knife, nail file and ice pick make different striations in the wood and how that means something different to investigators.”

While the camp lasts only a week, the lessons and skills taught are ones that the students will bring back to school and carry through life with them.

“I think it’ll allow [Harrison] to see it’s okay to be smart at his age,” Storms said. “You don’t have to be an athlete to be noticed or good at something. You can get places by being smart. Hopefully, moving forward, he’ll be able to learn how to take his leadership skills, too, and help other kids at school. There’s a lot to be learned.”

“We hope [Alexis] gets a good foundation to build from,” Tina Martin, Alexis’s mom, said. “It’s an opportunity for her to learn how to build her leadership skills, self-confidence and her abilities.”