July 22nd, 2024

College camps helps youth explore potential career pathways

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on June 22, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge College is ready to help youngsters explore and discover their passion and potential career pathways through a variety of summer camps.
Paige Thornborough, coordinator of youth initiatives at Lethbridge College, told the Herald in a recent interview that the goal is to help youth explore potential career paths, but they are independent from recruitment.
“Our goal is not trying to get students to take a particular program or go to Lethbridge College, our primary motivation is to support students through that exploration phase,” said Thornborough.
She added that they want to make sure that wherever they go, whatever they do, they are really confident in how they are moving forward and that the area they have chosen to pursue is a really good fit for who they are and what they are excited about.
“One of those initiatives that is under our umbrella is summer camps and this is the second year that our department has been running summer camps,” said Thornborough.
She said they offer a variety of summer camps that can be grouped into three areas – those that relate to programs at the college, Be Fit for Life and Kodiak sports for children between the ages of four and 17 years old.
“The goal of summer camps isn’t just to provide childcare for families, the goal is to help those kids connect with things that make them excited, areas of interest and passions,” said Thornborough.
She added they also want to give youth an opportunity to have fun while creating memories and developing or improving skills they can use later in life.
“We try really hard to give some really niche opportunities or some niche camps that are very specific in their subject matter,” said Thornborough.
She said for families that have a child who is really passionate about gaming, for example, they have a 3D game designer camp.
“Or if there is a parent who says my kid is super talented in the kitchen and I don’t have the skill set to help them further build their interest in that area, we have a baking camp and a culinary camp,” said Thornborough.
She added that for those parents that have athletic children, they also have a few options, not only in the be fit for life with dancing camps, but also in sports such as basketball and volleyball in their Kodiak camps.
“For those parents who have little scientists, or STEM oriented kids who ask why 500 different times a day, we have a camp that aligns with that,” said Thornborough.
She explained that a lot of programming offer at the college is determined in a very intentional way, to help kids make decisions that could be beneficial to them in the short term, especially for those in junior high who might feel like graduation and potential post-secondary education is still too far into the future.
“For example, we have a carpentry camp that we run for kids. The idea is that if there’s a kid who may be thinking I’m interested in carpentry they can take that camp and then they can go back to their school and they can take a shops class,” said Thornborough.
She said another path that older kids can choose after participating in one of the camps is the dual credit programming the college offers to high school students.
“Our summer camp programming is presented in a way where students are really able to choose their own adventure and navigate through experiential hands-on opportunities where they can try out different areas of interest or potential career pathways,” said Thornborough.
She added that programming in youth initiatives gives children an opportunity to ladder themselves up and explore different areas and there are options at every single age group.
“We have a a cup camp that we run for ages four to six and the idea is general subject matter delivered in age appropriate ways,” said Thornborough.
Information about the various camps can be found at lethbridgecollege.ca/summercamps but Thornbourough cautions many are already full.

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