When: June 27-30, 2018

Where: Marshall University (Huntington, WV)

Contact: Elizabeth Manuel at (304) 896-7452

Get ready!

  • Packing list

    Click here to view a list of items to bring (and what not to bring).

  • Directions

    Marshall University is located in Huntington (Cabell County). Get directions

  • Arrival instructions

    Camp check-in will happen in the main lobby of the Memorial Student Center (#37 on the map on page 7 of the Family Handbook). There are two parking lots near the commons area in which parents can park both to drop off and pick up their students. The lots are between 18th and 20th streets (click here for a visual). Parents can park in either lot. Parking is free during the designated drop off/pick up times. More specific instructions will be texted to students who provide their phone numbers during the enrollment process as we get closer to the event.

    Please be aware that there is a 10+ mile stretch of roadwork on I-64 East and West from around Teays Valley through the Milton area that may cause delays in travel to and from Marshall University. The 55 mph speed limit during this stretch is STRICTLY enforced. Please plan accordingly to arrive on campus between 12:30 and 2:15 on June 27.

  • Schedule

    Click here to view the schedule.

  • Hashtags, etc.

    Post your camp pictures and updates using the #GUU18 hashtag. And follow @wvgearup on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more pics!

  • Family handbook

    Click here to view the Family Handbook.


GEAR UP U is a 4-day/3-night summer academy that will be held at Marshall University from June 27 – 30, 2018. Participants will live on campus, take fun classes, develop their leadership skills, and meet students from across the state.

FAQs for parents

What kind of camp is GEAR UP U?
GEAR UP U is an overnight academic camp that focuses on high school preparation, college and career planning, and leadership development.

What/who is GEAR UP?
West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally funded grant program intended to help you and your child plan, apply, and pay for education or training beyond high school.

What will my child do at camp?
Your child will participate in academic classes, physical wellness activities, college mentoring, and leadership development.

Where will my child stay?
Marshall University (Huntington, WV) will provide students with lodging. Classes will be held on campus and in the immediate area surrounding Marshall University. Should transportation be required to and from classes, GEAR UP U and Marshall University staff will transport students.

What are my responsibilities?
As a parent, we expect you to make sure your child understands the GEAR UP U rules and expectations. If your child breaks the rules, you will be responsible for picking him or her up early. You are also expected to provide or arrange for transportation to and from Marshall University and to help your child prepare/pack for camp.

Will my child need money?
All meals and school supplies will be provided by West Virginia GEAR UP. If you would like your child to have additional “spending money” that is permitted, but not required.

Who else will be there?
Students from each of West Virginia GEAR UP’s middle schools will attend. WV GEAR UP serves schools in 10 counties and there will be between 200 – 250 students at camp.

Who supervises camp, and who will keep my child safe?
Safety and supervision are very important to us. GEAR UP U will have a full staff, which includes the following:

  • Professional staff members from West Virginia GEAR UP
  • Camp supervisors who also work in West Virginia GEAR UP schools (teachers, counselors and principals)
  • Camp counselors (college students)
  • Resident advisors (college employees)
  • Security officers
  • Camp nurse

Additionally, medical and liability insurance have been purchased by camp organizers in case of an emergency.

How much does camp cost?

GEAR UP U is FREE, but parents do have the responsibility of providing or arranging for transportation for their child to and from Marshall University in Huntington, WV (Cabell County). Parents must also help their child prepare for camp and provide them with items such as proper clothing, toiletries, etc.

Will the boys and girls be together or separately?
During day and evening hours, all students will attend classes and sessions together. At night, girls and boys will be housed separately. Students are forbidden to have a member of the opposite gender in their rooms.

How can I contact my child?
If your child has a cell phone, you may talk to him or her during “free time.” Your child will also have access to a phone at the residence hall and on campus if he or she wishes to call home. Emergency phone numbers will be provided for attendees and their parents.

My child takes medication. How/when will this be administered and by whom?
Prior to attending camp, students and parents will be asked to complete a medical release form. By completing this form, you will be granting our camp nurse the permission and instructions to retain and administer medication to your child.

Can I visit my child at camp?
Of course — we would never keep parents away from their child. However, we would like for GEAR UP U to be a learning experience that helps students develop more responsibility and independence and would prefer that parents attend camp only during the designated parent time periods on the first and last days. Arrangements can and will be made for special circumstances.

My child has special dietary needs. What arrangements can you make for this?
Prior to attending camp, students and parents will be asked to complete an enrollment packet which will give you the opportunity to outline any dietary needs. Additionally, meals will be buffet-style and students will be able to choose his or her own food from many options provided.

My child is always hungry. Will he or she get enough to eat?
All three meals are buffet-style, which means your child can eat as much as he or she wants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We will also provide snacks in the evening.

Will my child have a roommate? Can he or she request to room with a particular student?
Your child will have a roommate. The goal is to room each student with another student that attends the same school. Students may request a particular student as a roommate, and we will attempt to accommodate these requests.

FAQs for students

What kind of camp is GEAR UP U?
Well… we don’t like to brag, but GEAR UP U might be the best camp EVER. You’ll get to…

  • learn about and prepare for college
  • make new friends from across WV
  • hang out on a college campus
  • participate in classes you want to take
  • develop leadership skills to be even more awesome

What will I do at GEAR UP U?
You will be required to attend classes (some that we choose and some that you choose). You will also participate in several leadership development workshops and some very cool activities. College students will act as your counselors and they will help you get ready for college.

What are my responsibilities?
At GEAR UP U, we will treat you with respect and allow you some freedom — but you have to respect the camp staff and the rules. We expect you to make it to all GEAR UP U activities on time and to participate. We also expect you to follow the code of conduct. Most of all, we expect a good attitude!

Will I need money?
All meals and supplies will be provided by West Virginia GEAR UP. If you would like to have additional “spending money,” that is permitted but not required.

Who else will be there?
Students from West Virginia GEAR UP’s other schools will attend — around 200 students total.

Will I share a room with someone?
Yes, you will have a roommate (just like in college). We will try very hard to room you with someone from your school and/or someone you have requested to room with.

Can I bring my cell phone and other gadgets?
Yes, there will be certain time periods that you are allowed to use these items. You are responsible for the safety and care of these items.

Will boys and girls be allowed to hang out together?
Yes, but only during supervised activities and NEVER in the residence hall rooms. If you get caught mingling with students of the opposite sex in the residence hall rooms, you’ll be kicked out of camp — no excuses, no exceptions.

How can I contact my parents?
If you have a cell phone, you can call them during your free time. If you don’t, the counselors can give you access to a phone.