This summer, I’m back in the ‘burg working as a RPA with the NIAHD program at W&M! (Wow, that’s a lot of acronyms.) I will be a Residential Program Assistant during the National Institute of American History and Democracy’s Pre-College Summer Program. (Okay, now that’s just a mouthful.) I’ve written about my previous experience with NIAHD in a different post, but to quickly recap, NIAHD programs focus on the study of early American history, public history, material culture, and museum studies.
During the summer, William & Mary hosts the Pre-College Program in Early American History. This program gives high school students the opportunity to live in a college dorm, take history classes, and meet fellow students from all around the country (and the globe!) who share similar interests. The students go on daily site visits to historic locations in Virginia and the surrounding area. This is a great opportunity to learn more about American history and to meet professionals in the field. The students can also participate in unique programs, such as archaeological digs at Fairfield Plantation and English country dance lessons.
After several days of RPA training, Pre-College students moved in last Sunday. This week, I’ve accompanied classes to Jamestown Island, the Pamunkey Indian Museum and Cultural Center, and Bacon’s Castle. Other groups have visited Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Montpelier. Students also participated in a giant scavenger hunt around campus and spoke with Thomas Jefferson (aka Mr. Bill Barker) in W&M’s Wren Chapel!
Although the week has been extremely busy, the program has been a lot of fun so far! I have really enjoyed being a mentor and sharing my love of history and William & Mary with the students in the program. At first, it felt strange to be back on campus so soon after graduating. Every time I passed by one of my old dorms or a favorite campus spot, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. However, I’m happy to have a few more weeks at W&M before I’m officially forced to leave its familiar brick paths.
Tune in for more Pre-College Program updates over the next couple of weeks, and feel free to check out the program’s official webpage for more information!