McCook | THETA Camp


McCook, Neb. | THETA Camp

University of Nebraska at Kearney exercise science majors Tyan Boyer and Collin Fleecs spent their summer running THETA Camp––which stands for “Teaching Health, Exercise, Technology and Aquaponics.”

THETA Camp was designed to educate elementary and middle school students about the importance of health and wellness as well as sustainable agriculture. The camp also explored technology and gave students a better idea of nutrition and health-related career fields. THETA Camp was developed as a part of an RFI Competitive Award grant exploring rural obesity and health awareness. The camp’s curriculum was co-written by UNK Professors Greg Brown and Nate Bickford.

Throughout THETA Camp, Tyan and Collin conducted surveys to ensure their students were retaining the information they learned each morning. Ultimately, they say, the goal was to provide each child with information he or she could use to make smart, nutritional decisions for years to come.

Tyan and Collin led THETA Camp each morning from 8 a.m. until noon and spent the remainder of their day working on community development projects or job shadowing at McCook Community Hospital. Throughout the pair’s weekly eight-hour job shadows at McCook Community Hospital, Tyan and Collin were able to learn more about their own future careers in the health field, as well as meet with several members of the McCook community to discuss the success of THETA Camp.


Collin engages with the THETA Camp McCook students during an ice-breaker conversation activity in the classroom. 
THETA Camp McCook might be an educational experience, but Tyan and the students are rarely short of laughs.

“Collin and Tyan on 96.1 KICX with Rich Barnett! #RFIServiceship” -  @THETA_McCook  | June 7, 2017

Collin and Tyan lead their THETA Camp McCook students in an outdoor running exercise to get the blood pumping before a couple hours of classroom instruction on June check-in day. 
.@rural_futures Great first week of camp! Kids are wonderful to work with and have a passion for learning! #RFIServiceship” - @THETA_Mccook | June 22, 2017
.@rural_futures Great first week of camp! Kids are wonderful to work with and have a passion for learning! #RFIServiceship” - @THETA_Mccook | June 22, 2017
" interns Collin & Tyan discuss the importance of social health at " - @rural_futures | June 20, 2017</em
On July 13, 2017, RFI Leadership Engagement Director Kayla Schnuelle checked in with Tyan and Collin and a few of their THETA students. She was accompanied by Greg Brown, a UNK faculty member, principal investigator and curriculum co-writer, for the THETA Camp McCook research project.
UNK Professor and THETA Camp Curriculum co-writer Greg Brown chats with THETA Camp McCook about the future of the camp.
When Collin and Tyan aren't leading THETA Camp or participating in other community engagement activities, they were often exploring their own future careers in the field of health, exercise and nutrition at McCook Community Hospital. 
During a fun lunch time intermission on final presentation day, Collin nominated Tyan for the prestigious "Most Likely to be Called Collin by a 10-year-old" Award.

“Collin & Tyan discuss successes & takeaways for elementary students learning #health, #exercise, #tech, #aquaponics at Camp @THETA_McCook” - @rural_futures | August 10, 2017

McCook Serviceship in the News

McCook Gazette | June 7, 2017

UNK News | June 7, 2017

Omaha World-Herald | June 13, 2017

McCook Gazette | June 13, 2017

NTV News | July 12, 2017

Thank you to the McCook host team!

Andrew Ambriz, Director, McCook Economic Development

Sarah Wolford, Community Outreach & Wellness Coordinator, McCook Community Hospital

Matt Sehnert, Owner, Sehnert’s Bakery

Denise Grey, Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department

Ronda Graff, Coordinator, McCook Community Foundation