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Summer camp offers students a side of service

SWAT Camp members spent a day working on landscaping behind Rosemount Middle School.

Chloe Brandt had never thought much about science as a career path, but after a summer camp session at Rosemount Middle School, she might be changing her mind.

Brandt, who will be a freshman this fall at Eagan High School, was fascinated by a presentation on forensic science given as part of a second-year camp called Service With a Twist, or SWAT. The camp, for students in sixth through ninth grades, is part career exploration, part community service.

Since Chloe and her fellow campers started meeting July 21, they have heard presentations from employees at Ecolab, 3M and Inver Hills Community College and done projects for groups like Feed My Starving Children and Bridging, a nonprofit group that provides furniture and household goods to families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness.

“I used to absolutely hate science, but after seeing the presentation from Ecolab, it sounds pretty cool,” Brandt said.

There are 17 kids in this year’s session, and Trent Thompson, one of two leaders, said things have gone well.

“It’s been really good,” he said. “They’re all very involved in the service projects.”

One of the group’s biggest projects was also the closest to its home base. The students did some landscaping to turn a messy bit of land behind RMS into a much more attractive area.

“We got to spend the whole day outside, and we got to learn a lot about hard work,” said camper Gabe Waltzer.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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