Camping KCTCS Style

Summer is here and so are our summer camps! If the kids are bored and you’re worried about them having too much screen time, then sign them up for a camp at one of the 16 KCTCS colleges.

The colleges offer a wide variety of fun options – everything from criminal justice, 3D printing and robotics to cooking, archery and art. For example, Somerset Community College is just wrapping up its Kids Kollege. This two-week event included topics like Superhero Science and outdoor adventures where participants learn about eco systems, habitats and streams.

Madisonville Community College is gearing up for its Summer Youth College July 10-13. Activities are available for first – sixth grade and include learning about farming and art as well as many other options. The college also just completed a camp for underserved students that featured a retired NASA engineer who talked about STEM careers and the upcoming eclipse.

Speaking of astronauts, West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers camps at their Challenger Learning Center and Big Sandy Community and Technical College sponsored a two-day camp exploring what happens to the human body in space.

Most of our colleges also participate in the Governor’s Minority Student College Preparation, a program that started in 1986 to help middle school students become aware of the benefits of college and help prepare them to be successful in college.

Summer camps aren’t just for kids, though. Some colleges offer experiences for adults. For example, Southcentral Community and Technical College brought students, teachers and counselors in for advanced manufacturing camp. There are still many misperceptions about today’s manufacturing, which is no longer dirty, dark and dangerous. Showing prospective students and those who influence them how different today’s high tech manufacturing is will help spread the word that these are great career options.

To help our prospective students be ready to dive right in this fall, our college in Owensboro offers a program for college readiness until Aug. 4. For those who want to use their summer vacation to brush up on the basics, Bluegrass Community and Technical College is offering a free boot camp on reading, math and English for students of all ages.

These are just a few of the activities going on around the state at our colleges this summer. There truly is something for everyone, but it’s about more than just fun and games. Summer camps offer youngsters a glimpse into what college is. Because Kentucky’s college-going rate needs improvement, it’s important to get our youth on campuses and provide a positive experience. The goal is for them to see themselves as a college student a few years down the road, which is something some Kentucky kids would not consider without these experiences.

Although we try to work in a little down time with family during the summer, it’s also a good time to get involved in college camps. Check with your local college to see what’s right for your camper. Some activities will be outdoors, but no tent or lanterns are needed at these camps.

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