More than 70 Native American teenagers are attending the third annual Leadership Development Camp this week on Washington State University’s Pullman campus.

“The goal of the camp is to get teens excited about the possibility of higher education,” said Julie Titone, director of communication at the College of Education.

“We really want to get them thinking early about college as an option” said Paula G. Price, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Paula, along with husband Cedric Price, director of the Physical Education Activities (PEACT) program in the College of Education, developed the camp three years ago in partnership with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

Willie J. Heggins, assistant professor in the College of Education, talks to camp attendees during a morning sports activity.

The number of camp attendees has doubled every year, Paula Price said. “We had 88 that wanted to come this year, but we had to cap it at 75,” she said. “It’s a great success.”

Teenagers who attend the camp have the opportunity to apply for paying jobs as counselors at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s summer camp, titled Rockn the Rez. The camp is held at WSU’s former Camp Larson, located on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Titone said.

“Our biggest marker of success for the program is that we now have two counselors who went through the camp in the past and are now attending college,” Paula Price said. 

“We’re hoping to open them up to things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s a lot of planning, but it’s so worth it,” she said.

Activities at this year’s camp include writing and illustrating books, sports, theatre and dance, horseback riding and a trip to Silverwood Theme Park.