FARMINGTON — Eleven campers from Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham toured the University of Maine at Farmington campus Thursday as part of a Camp to Campus leadership tour.

The goal of the tour was to help eliminate campers’ fears and reservations about going to college. Campers are recommended by school guidance departments from all over Maine. The program includes swimming, socializing and activities to help build dignity and self-esteem.

For Nicole Fogg of South Portland, who has attended the camp for eight seasons, the best parts involve making friends, getting away and enjoying summer. She is learning leadership skills and self-esteem.

Fogg and the friends with her Thursday are involved in a counselor-in-training program, working with campers ages 8 to 13 to learn mentoring. The campers-turned-counselors develop long-term relationships with younger campers who return for a monthly session each year.

Counselor Emilee McCallister of Westbrook was interested in the tour because she will begin her freshman year at UMF in September. Another counselor, Angela West of Fryeburg, will begin her senior year at UMF and has been involved with Camp Susan Curtis for five years.

According to the Susan Curtis Foundation Web site, outcomes are positive for children who stay at Camp Susan Curtis for at least four years. During a 10-year study, eight of 10 long-term leadership students went on to college.

During the tour, campers saw what campus life involves and were given information about available resources. They also worked on skills to help them plan their futures.

The group will travel to Orono to tour the University of Maine and to Waterville to visit Colby College later this month.

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