Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Chaperones Benefit from Parade's Young Columbus Program

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Chaperones Benefit from Parade's Young Columbus Program

Article excerpt

Newspaper carriers and NIE students are not the only ones who benefit from Parade magazine's Young Columbus program.

Sixteen college seniors go along as counselors to the high school students, but none seemed to mind the job.

"We work them extremely hard," said Elizabeth Mannigan, promotion director/newspaper relations for Parade.

Despite the responsibility of being in charge of a group of American junior high and high school students in a foreign country, the counselors wished they could do it all over.

"It wasn't like I was working," said Arnold Nash, an Air Force ROTC member at Georgetown University.

"I would do it again," said Suzanne O'Leary, a government major also from Georgetown. "To see France with a group that got all the best tour guides was definitely worth it."

The seniors are selected by a nomination and interview process from colleges around the country. Most had worked as camp counselors, or were resident counselors at their colleges. They were chosen for their maturity, character, and sense of responsibility, according to Mannigan.

This year's group, which went to France for 10 days, represented nine different universities: Furman University, South Carolina; University of Michigan; University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Northwest University, Illinois; Springfield College, Massachusetts; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Tennessee; Brigham Young University, Utah; and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Counselors have the job of keeping their charges on schedule, helping them keep track of tickets and passports, and negotiating through customs, hotel check-ins, and transportation deadlines.

"It was kind of daunting keeping track of them in Paris," said Tommy Turner, a political science major from Furman University. Turner was in charge of eight 12-year-olds. "It was my first time overseas and I knew no French, but we got through just fine and it was fun."

"A lot of my kids were excited to see Paris because they had never seen such a big city," said Turner.

The counselors' most important job is to give the Young Columbus winners a person to guide them since most of the students are away from home alone for the first time.

"Several of the kids had never been out of the country or even their hometown," said Maurisa Hooks, a studio arts major at Furman University. "For one girl, Normandy was the first time she had seen a beach."

She also said she was a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility of watching a group in a foreign country. …

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