By James E. Bailey

James Bailey with Tennessee Smokies mascot

On Saturday, July 7, a group of four students and two teachers from Calhoun left to go on a two week summer camp in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The teachers were Pam Bartlett and Dan Fiedorczyk. The four students were David Albaugh, senior, Erin Smith, senior, Deva Murphy, junior, and myself, James Bailey, junior.

Calhoun Group: Front row (L to R) David Albaugh and Deva Murphy; Back row (L to R) Pam Bartlett, James Bailey and Dan Fiedorczyk

When we left, we had no idea what to expect. One thing we all hoped for was a fun and memorable time, which is what most of us had. It was the first time flying for three of us.

While we were there, we participated in research groups, which we chose before we went. The students had five different research groups, and the teachers had three. I was in a computer study about DNA.

During our stay, we took tours of several historic places located in Oak Ridge, a city created as a site for the now famous Manhattan Project, the government's quest to harness the power of nuclear weaponry. We also went to the American Museum of Science and Energy at Oak Ridge, Mayfield Dairy and the Tennessee Aquarium.

We took tours of two colleges. We went to Maryville College and to the University of Tennessee, where we toured the Veterinary School and the School of Engineering.

We study the petrified mouth of a horse

Not everything during the two weeks was educational, however. We went to a minor league baseball game one night. We also spent an entire day at Dollywood, where everyone did whatever they wanted to.

It wasn't just the things that we did that made it fun, but also all the people we met there. There were a total of 28 students and 19 teachers from 13 states in the Appalachian region. There were people from New York (not the city), Maryland, Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and, of course, West Virginia. This mixture of different types of people and activities led to one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life.

Entire Appalachian group from 13 states

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