McCook THETA Camps

Host Team

  • Nate Bickford (Lead)
  • Sarah Wolford (Lead)
  • Matthew Bice (Lead)
  • Greg Brown

Tyan Boyer

Hometown: Plainview, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska at Kearney
Major: Exercise Science

Collin Fleecs

Hometown: Sutherland, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska at Kearney
Major: Exercise Science

Bradley Schoch

Hometown: Marquette, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska at Kearney
Major: Exercise Science


About McCook, Neb.

About The Serviceship Experience

In conjunction with the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the goal of this project is to bring education about health, exercise, technology and aquaponics to rural areas in Nebraska.

Brad, Collin, and Tyan were able to run the THETA (Teaching Health Exercise Technology and Aquaponics) Camps in the McCook community. They were also able to add some community outreach this summer. They worked with the McCook Community Hospital to provide two presentations for the public.


The THETA Camp was eight weeks long with eight different modules. Each week there were between 12-15 student attendees. There were weekly assessments to track what each kid was learning and retaining.

The community outreach programs were very well received. They were about fitting exercise into a busy schedule and why you should. There were about 20 individuales in attendance for each presentation.



Final Presentation


Weekly Updates

July 20, 2018

THETA camp is in its final stretch down here in McCook. It is crazy to look back on how fast this summer has gone and where we are at now. It feels like just yesterday we were rushing down to the radio station to promote our THETA camp.

We’ve covered a lot of ground to this point. Various modules have covered topics from aquaponics to nutrition to technology. All of our teachings have kept the students very engaged and allowed to them to relate the information we are supplying them to the real world right away. Although we have hit some road blocks along the way, as any good project will, it has helped as individuals by making us to work on our problem-solving skills to make the best out of the situations.

All Week Nine Updates

July 6, 2018

THETA continues to keep trucking along as we’ve completed 5 modules of our camp already. It’s crazy to see how fast this summer is passing. It feels as if just last week we were all in Lincoln completing our serviceship training.

At THETA, we are continuing to make impressive advancements as we have expanded our reaches from physical activity and nutrition into technology now as well. It has been a very good mix of speed for both RFI interns as well as our students. The kids continue to stay excited about the material that we are presenting them.

All Week Seven Updates

June 8, 2018

We implemented Module 1 of THETA camp the past week, and it has been very successful for our team. In Module 1, after getting to know everyone, we started fast by germinating plants with our students. The students were very interactive with this step in the growing of our produce.

After getting some plants started, we moved on to the next step which was constructing our hydroponic and aquaponic systems. The students seemed very interested in how these growing systems worked as well as very excited to be able to get their hands dirty and do a little construction project.

Students were able to use drills and cocking glue guns in order to build the structures we needed. It was very rewarding to teach a new skill to kids that had no experience with, specifically using a drill. It was also very interesting to watch kids work together to lift heavy bags of gravel and place it within our systems!

All Week Three Updates

May 25, 2018

The THETA trio talked with Rich Barnett of High Plains Radio about RFI and their camps live on the air.

We have had an amazing first few days here in McCook. As a trio, THETA is continuing to build upon the foundation laid last summer. We have instantly been thrown into action here in the small community of McCook where we have been making several connections as well as increasing the numbers for our camp attendance this summer.

Our first full day in town, Monday, we started off by stopping by the hospital to visit with Sarah Wolford and let her know that we made it and are ready to get to work. We also visited the local YMCA, the new facility for the THETA camp, to continue to build relationships and look over the utilities and room we will have access to this year. We believe that the YMCA will be a much better location for us to have another successful camp this year as we have plenty of space and resources at our fingertips.

Continuing on to Tuesday, we were notified in the morning that we were to be at the local radio station, High Plains Radio, in 45 minutes to promote the Rural Futures Institute and our THETA camp live on the air. We had a great time at the radio station where we were able to visit with a few locals as well as the radio host, Rich Barnett.

All Week One Updates