ASHVILLE — Eden Career Technical Center hosted its first summer camp for grades sixth through eighth, bringing in a total of 67 students over the span of three days. The camp began May 31 and lasted until June 2.
The idea for the summer camp was first mentioned by the technical center’s guidance counselor, Candice Cranford.
According to Trisha Turner, principle of Eden Career Technical Center, the purpose of the camp was to promote to the kids and the parents all that the technical center has to offer students across the county.
“What we’re trying to do is to, you know, make more awareness about career tech programs and open the eyes of parents so that they might get on board with maybe accepting career tech as one of the kids’ choices once they get to high school,” Turner said.
Cranford’s idea had to be approved by the board before setting the plan into action. With the go-ahead by the board along with funding, the camp was moved into the prep stage.
Several of the programs offered at the technical center were on board for participating in the three day camp including health science, HVAC, carpentry, and I.T.
According to Turner, each program did their own activities.
Students who chose to learn more about the health science program during the camp participated in activities centered around CPR training, the heimlich remover, and dressing wounds.
The students in the I.T. group practiced programming, programmed microchips, and worked on robotic arms.
The HVAC group worked on the training systems that the technical center has, learned about heating and cooling, and used the program’s simulators.
The students who chose carpentry built their own toolboxes and they programmed the available CNC machines to do some engraving.
Turner said the camp was based around learning skills rather than traditional summer camp activities.
“Each program did their own little thing and I think the kids, a majority of them, when we asked them at the very end if they would be interested in doing it again next year, over half of them were interested in doing it again,” Turner said.
According to Turner, the technical school has reached out to students previously with different promotional tools to raise awareness to the programs offered, but most of the students were unaware the programs were available through classes in the county.
“That was the whole purpose of the summer camp,” Turner said. “Just to make awareness of the career tech opportunities that students have in St. Clair County Schools.”
Turner said the most rewarding part of the summer camp was allowing the students to have the opportunity to see what each program can offer them.
According to Turner, the school plans on doing the camp again next summer if approved by the board.
“We’re hoping to add more programs to the summer camp, eventually,” Turner said.