The official move-in day for the fall semester at Eastern Illinois University isn’t until Aug. 15. It may have looked, however, like the university was conducting a trial run this past weekend.
According to Matthew Boyer, EIU’s director of conference services, more than 1,000 campers arrived on campus for a week of music, baseball and badminton fun. In addition, the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute -- the largest group currently in attendance -- brought more than 460 campers and 80 adult supervisors to the university’s campus.
This is the first year that the teen institute has met in Charleston. Sponsored by the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, the annual event has previously been held on the campuses of other state universities or colleges.
“It’s my understanding that the event outgrew its last location,” Boyer said. “And some other institutions were unable to meet the group’s physical needs.”
Able to provide the teen institute with a large central meeting facility, some larger area lecture sites and a series of technologically ready break-out rooms, Eastern was able to attract the event to its campus.
“They also liked our centralized campus,” Boyer said. “And the price was right.”
The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute is a national award-winning prevention program that emphasizes positive peer influence and helps youth and adults join together to prevent alcohol and other drug use. It is a comprehensive education and training program that promotes positive attitude to improve all areas of life.
The mission of CGTI is to create a partnership of youth and adults from all walks of life to train and empower their peers about the prevention of substance abuse and other addictive behaviors, and to lead by example by accepting individual differences and advocating for healthy decision making in communities.
“We are excited to be hosting the IADDA on the campus of Eastern Illinois University,” Boyer said. “This is an outstanding program for Illinois junior high and high school youth (grades 7-12), and this is an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase our great university.”
In addition to the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (July 21-25), other camps/conferences making their home on Eastern’s campus sometime this week include Smith Walbridge Mace and Signal Baton (July 19-21); the Monticello, Watseka and Evansville (Ind.) marching bands (July 21-26); Badminton Camp (July 21-25); Minority Leadership and College Prep (July 21-27); Smith Walbridge Drum Major II (July 21-26); and Baseball High School Advance Camp (July 23-25).
According to Boyer, more than 13,000 guests visit Eastern each summer to take part in various programs being offered. Other camps and events include (but are not limited to) the IHSA state track meets, the IHSA badminton championship, Smith Walbridge clinics, Premier Illinois Boys State and Illini Girls State.
“We are proud of our campus and our summer program that serves to promote academic, athletic, cultural, artistic and educational experiences,” he said.