Tech Center Summer Campers Get Real

July 11, 2018

Color wars and archery have their place at summer camp, but campers at Putnam | Northern Westchester’s Tech Center are learning real-life skills with an accent on having fun.

During the month of July, area students between the ages of 12 and 15 are taking part in the Tech Center’s unique mini-camps on BOCES’ Yorktown campus.
“Our program provides a unique and affordable alternative to the typical day camp experience,” said Director of Career & Technical Education Catherine Balestrieri. “Campers learn real-world skills, using hands-on tools and techniques.”

This summer’s offerings include topics such as animation, sports medicine, culinary fundamentals, 3D printing/laser design, hairstyling, auto mechanics and babysitting boot camp. Mini-camps are led by certified teachers and industry experts.

On a recent summer morning, campers could be found preparing Chinese dishes in a professional kitchen, creating architectural designs on computers, learning how to apply makeup and style hair, delving into the details of car design and practicing how to diaper and swaddle an infant.

“We do lots of hands on activities to keep things fun,” said Tech Center counselor Karen Carey, who teaches Babysitting Boot Camp. “In addition to getting certified in CPR and learning to use an AED, campers diaper baby dolls, learn games suited to young children and even try out baby food!”

Tech Center teacher Nicole Laino runs a weeklong Spa Camp and said that “campers not only learn skills for applying makeup, doing nails and facials, but also the social skills needed to perform each service: having a conversation, listening to “clients” and working with others.”