Utah students who created summer camps and museum activity booklets honored in Washington, D.C.

<p dir=”ltr”><span>The top two youth volunteers from Utah have been honored with an award in the nation’s capitol. John Wesley Orton, an 18-year-old from Salt Lake City, and Amelia Slama-Catron, 14, from Sandy, were selected along with 100 others from around the United States for the 20th annual</span> <a href=”http://utahpulse.com/index.php/features/business/2147-two-utah-youth-honored-for-volunteerism-at-national-award-ceremony-in-washington-d-c”><span>Prudential Spirit of Community Awards</span></a><span>, recently held in Washington, D.C..</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Orton and Slama-Catron each received $1,000 and congratulations from “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts at the awards ceremony and gala dinner, which was held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. They also received engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip with one parent to Washington, D.C., for four days of recognition events.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in a partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Orton, who is the son of late U.S. Congressman Bill Orton and Jacquelyn Orton and a senior at Innovations Early College High School, had started a summer camp for young schoolchildren. Both he and his older brother had started camp programs for children on Utah’s Navajo Reservation.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Each year, more than</span> <a href=”http://fitnessbythesea.com/sending-your-kids-to-camp-this-summer-get-the-details-on-this-summer-fun-activity/”><span>11 million children and adults</span></a> <span>head to summer camps, which range from day programs for schoolchildren on break to sleepaway beach camps for sports or other activities.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Orton’s camp, however, is educational in nature. Dubbed “Camp Shakespeare,” the program focuses on getting children interested in writing and literature.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Orton had the idea after his brother started a camp to interest students in science and math, called “Camp Einstein.” Orton worked there as an assistant, logistics and fundraising director, and science instructor after the camp was founded in 2011.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Yet Orton wanted to focus on something that was more tied to his own specialties to help students. “I knew that adding a writing/literature camp (my specialties) would improve students’ academic outcomes,” he commented.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The camp is one week long and takes place the week before Camp Einstein. The program is run out of the reservation’s elementary school, where young Navajo students are taught by trained middle and high school student volunteers.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Orton has used fundraisers to keep the camps free for students.</span> <a href=”http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865626027/Top-student-volunteer-honored.html?pg=all”><span>He has raised $5,000</span></a> <span>to help pay for supplies and meals.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Slama-Catron, the other winner of the Prudential Spirit of Community award, designed an activity booklet to help get students interested in museum exhibits.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>An eighth grader at Midvale Middle School, Slama-Catron spent more than 100 hours of her time last summer working on the booklet for children to use at the Treehouse Children’s Museum in Ogden.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>She got the idea when she saw that her younger sister was having fun at the museum, but older students like herself weren’t engaged by the exhibits.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The book, which is now available for free to everyone at the museum, allows older children to “learn, think and respond” even when their younger siblings are present.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>”It allows them to enjoy the hands-on exhibits available there at the same time as their younger siblings,” she explained. “They can learn and have fun at the same time.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Slama-Catron also makes presentations at the museum and has developed a “play café” program that teaches children how to order and pay for their meals.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The students who were honored at this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are just a few of the more than 100,000 young volunteers who have been recognized for their service since 1995.</span></p>

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