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NCCU Law Camp Short on Marshmallows, Long on Debate

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DURHAM — Summer Camp is a great American tradition. For many kids, it's a chance to enjoy the great outdoors away from home, sleeping under the stars, roasting marshmallows over a fire.

But there's a camp in Durham this summer that offers none of those things. What it does offer to its campers is a good argument, and the only hike these campers will make is from the classroom to the courtroom.

The game is courtroom law, and the players are participants in Law Camp at North Carolina Central University.

Law Professor T.M. Ringer laid the ground work for the week long project. Students participated in a pretend case in moot court.

"We have them work in groups, preparing direct examination, cross examination, basic questions and opening and closing arguments," said Lydia Lavelle, camp co-director.

For 12 year old Anwar Harris this is more than a game. It might well be a view into his future.

Well one my mom thought it up because I'm an arguing person," said Harris. "I never back down without a good hard fight. If I do good here, maybe I might do good as a lawyer."

"I'm a rising lawyer," said Anissa Jennings, a camp participant. "I'd like to become a defense attorney once i graduate from college."

Organizers know some campers may take the t-shirt and never see a courtroom again. For others though, the camp could be a life changing experience.

"We have a lot of motivated kids and I think that they will go on to be lawyers and lot of them really are dedicated," said camp co-director Nichelle Perry.

The law camp is co-sponsored by Durham Parks and Recreation.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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