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EIU Department of English

EIU English Studies Summer Camp for High School Students

June 16-22, 2024

Campers 2018 on Doudna Stairs


Check out our 2024 Camp Brochure!

Eastern Illinois University will once again run its English Studies Camp in June 2024. We look forward to welcoming high school students to who share our love of reading and writing for years to come. This one-week camp allows students to hone their English skills while providing them with a chance to sample life on a college campus and meet peers with similar interests. Offering courses that reflect students’ interests, our engaged faculty and tranquil setting provide that perfect opportunity for students to have an academically charged summer getaway where they can grow as readers, writers, debaters, and English scholars! For information on the 2024 in-person camp format, read on below.

Program Overview 

The EIU English Studies Summer Camp is a unique program that allows students to customize their program of study, selecting two sessions from a range of offerings in creative writing, literature, professional/academic writing, media studies, and more. Students grow academically and socially as they prepare for college and are mentored by expert faculty who share their passion for reading and writing.  Students receive individual attention through small class sizes and gain skills in analyzing and crafting texts and expressing their ideas both verbally and through writing.  

The camp offers two levels of discounted tuition:

  • a residency rate which includes tuition, housing, recreation, and three meals per day, and
  • a commuter rate which includes tuition, some recreational activities, and daily lunches.

Scholarships for full or partial funding are available. 

What will you typically experience at the in-person English Studies Summer Camp?

"The camp was probably one of the best experiences of my life." - Former Camper

2024 Course Offerings 

Students will enroll in a morning and afternoon course from various course (such as those seen below).  You can read longer descriptions of courses here. 

  • Don't Worry, The Ship Will Fly Itself: Exploring the Wild & Weird Terrains of Science Fiction
  • Horror Literature: How do You Define Horror?
  • Tell Your Story: The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • Modernizing Society's Stories
  • It's All Myth to Me
  • Pre-Writing Strategies & Journaling
  • The Ethics of Black Mirror
  • Speak & Shout Your Heart Out: Developing Spoken Word Poetry!


Camp participants will enjoy a range of fun recreational activities starting with the Welcome Pizza Party (an informal meet-and-greet for students and faculty) and ending with the Student Showcase (a public reception where students share their work with their families and the community).  When not in class, students will participate in indoor and outdoor games, movies, picnics, karaoke jam sessions, slam poetry readings at the local coffee shop, and more. EIU admissions and campus tours will be available by appointment on the last day. Living, dining, learning, and socializing together, students will have the opportunity to form lifelong friendships. 

How to Apply 

Students who will be in the 10th, 11th, 12th grade in the academic year following the camp, or those who have just graduated in the spring prior to the camp, can apply for admission by completing the following process:  

  1. Complete the online application 
  2. Along with this application, submit a one-page essay explaining your interest in the program (required for scholarship applicants only)
  3. Upon acceptance, submit payment online to reserve your spot in the camp (see above for Virtual Camp Payment Link).

All applications and supporting materials must be submitted online by: May 1.

Students will be notified of acceptance by email. (Note: all communication will be electronically sent to the email address listed on the camp application.) Additional information, including a detailed program schedule and driving directions to campus, will be sent to all students prior to camp. Confirmation of camp attendance, required paperwork, and payment will be due by May 24. All payments must be paid through the online payment portal.


We are pleased to offer a variety of full and partial scholarships designed to recognize high achieving students and allow students demonstrating financial need to attend this camp. Notification of scholarships will be included with the notification of acceptance into the camp.

To apply for a scholarship, complete the online scholarship application.

Registration Rates 

Residential Rate:  $395 – includes tuition, supervision, program materials, housing, and meals. Students stay in university residence halls and receive cafeteria-style meals served in the campus dining halls.  Students will check in at registration on Sunday late afternoon prior to the opening celebration and will check-out on Saturday early afternoon following the closing reception. Students and families will have the option to attend pre-arranged campus appointments (e.g. admissions, campus tours) in the late afternoon.

Commuter Rate for Local Students:  $225 – includes tuition, program materials, and daily lunches. Commuting students will check in at registration on Sunday late afternoon prior to the opening celebration and thereafter must arrive on campus by 9 a.m. for classes Monday-Friday and depart campus by 5 p.m.  Students will also attend the closing reception on Saturday morning and have the option to attend pre-arranged campus appointments in the afternoon (e.g. admissions, campus tours).

Extended Stay/Supervision for Campers Arriving by Train:  $50 - we are happy to provide additional supervision, meals, and entertainment for campers needing early arrival and late departure due to travel via Amtrak. Campers requesting this should book the train arriving at Mattoon at 11am on Sunday prior to the start of camp and departing at 6pm on Saturday after the end of camp. Camp counselors will provide transportation for these campers as well as meals and activities. This additional fee covers the costs for the extended camp attendance.

Student Cancellations: Refunds will be made for cancellations received by May 31. 50% refunds will be issued for cancellations received from June 1-June 7. Sorry, no refunds will be issued after June 7.

All payments must be made online at

Information for Accepted Campers 

An acceptance email from camp director Dr. Melissa Ames will be sent to all accepted campers electronically by May 10 along with importantant paperwork that must be completed by May 24 and submitted online.  In case you lose these forms, there are links to all four of them below.  (Note that print/scanned or electronic/typed signatures will be accepted on these forms.) If you do not receive an email concerning acceptance by May 10, please contact Dr. Ames to inquire about the status of the application. Between now and the start of camp, we encourage you to RSVP for the showcase brunch and campus tour and/or admission appointments. Links to the RSVP forms are below. You can also learn more about the camp faculty and counselors from the faculty and counselor biographies.

Paperwork must be submitted by May 24 through this link.

RSVPs must be submitted by June 7

About EIU/Charleston

Eastern Illinois University is located in the city of Charleston in Central Illinois.  Charleston’s historic setting, country charm, and tranquil scenery, coupled with the trademarks of a typical college town, make it a perfect backdrop to enjoy a week studying one of your favorite subjects and meeting students who share your interests.  

The campus is conveniently located between three metropolitan areas:  2 hours from St. Louis, 2 hours from Indianapolis, and 3 hours from Chicago.  With a train station one town over and airports just an hour or two away, transportation to and from campus is easy.

For Further General Information, please contact:  EIU English Department, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920.  Phone: 217-581-2428.  Fax: 217-581-7209.  Email:

For Specific Information about the Program Schedule or Sessions, please contact: Dr. Melissa Ames, Program Director via email at

English Studies Camp Program Director
Dr. Melissa Ames
EIU Professor of English

Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of English

600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2428
Fax: (217) 581-7209

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