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College summer camps challenge older youths

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There’s been no shortage of fun for kids out of school this month.

Confederation College has been offering unique opportunities in its “Summer Youth Camp,” for those aged 11-15, to explore skills and careers they may have not thought about before.

Last week, the college ran a “Make N’ Bake” course, where participants learned about cooking, baking, and developing their culinary skills.

The instructor was Meghan Spooner.

Highlights included cake, cupcake, and cookie decorating, where the youths were able to experiment with fondant and create their own goodies with fun designs.

This week, an art camp is running instructed by local artist Lindsay Hamilton.

Kathy Egan, program officer for the local college campus, said the art camp always has been a hit with the kids.

“It’s a very ambitious camp,” she noted. “They create, plan, and finish by Friday.”

“It’s a lot of work,” Egan added.

“We don’t have as many children this year, so the project isn’t as big as it has been in past years, but it’s still a lot of work.”

Those enrolled will be working closely with Hamilton on a project of papier maché installation art, where she’ll give the youths a theme and together they’ll create the art around it.

“Our camps always deal with giving something back to the community in some form of display,” Egan explained.

“We’ve done two murals in the past in the arena.

“We did one that was graffiti, and all of the local businesses chipped in and donated money for wall space,” said Egan.

“And then this year, we’re going to do a piece that will be on hanging display within the college,” she noted.

“We will display it in the atrium.”

What’s different about this year is the art will be three-dimensional.

Hamilton said she has a theme in mind but the young artists will have the final say.

“Because the site is in the atrium, and will be suspended above the those who enter and leave the college, I may suggest “looking forward with hope” as those who enter secondary education are often creating a better future for themselves,” she explained.

“So I may suggest hope, planning for the future, re-birth, or something along those lines.”

Egan said the college makes a point to run camps for an older age group because she feels they’re deserving of a fun program where they’re able to learn valuable lessons.

“The age target was always older youth,” she remarked. “It’s meant for the kids that want a little bit more freedom and independence.

“We want them to enjoy themselves.

“The other reason we do the summer camps is to help expose kids to the college that they have in their community,” added Egan.

“It’s a positive learning experience.”

Hamilton agreed with the importance of working with older youths.

“At this age of adolescence and pre-adolescence, youth creativity is peaking,” she reasoned.

“They have great fine motor skills, and are developing a metaphorical understanding and abstract thought.

“I believe it is important for youth to have the opportunity to celebrate with this transitional time in their lives through art-making,” Hamilton stressed.

“This is an opportunity to connect with peers in a positive, supportive, and creative activity,” she added.

“But also to have fun and create something they can be proud of.”

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