Tech Camps, Not Your Father’s Summer

When most people think of summer camp they think of traditional camp activities like kayaking, hiking and swimming. But at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES summer camp means expanding your creativity and having the chance to explore possible career fields in depth.

At BOCES’ summer camps, teens and tweens, ages 12 to 15, can enroll in programs as diverse as 3-D printing, animation, game design, architectural design, beauty, fashion design, hairstyling and sports medicine, giving them the opportunity to see if they would want to explore these fields further in their education.

Gerry Markel who teaches game design along with 3-D printing and architectural design said the camps “give younger students an opportunity to see what goes into these careers and allows them to learn in a fun environment.”

Nick Farrell of Yorktown, enrolled in Markel’s class, showed off the first person video game he had designed, saying “you can run, you can change the color scheme, and you can switch from 1st person to 3rd person.”

Gregory Guarna of Brewster said the best part of the camp was “playing my own game that I created.”

Cosmetology teacher Nicole Laino said her class focused on both casual hair and make-up as well as bridal hair and make-up and facials and nail design. She said the goal of her program was to offer campers the opportunity to experiment with cosmetology in a stress-free environment, saying “we’re here for them, to allow them to learn what they want while they have fun.”

Students in Lisa Tobin’s fashion design program learn the fundamentals of the art of fashion design such as sketching the idea out first before attempting to create it as well as cutting and sewing. Students created pillows and tote bags to practice their skills and even designed dresses out of leftover fabric.

There are 175 campers enrolled in 17 different camps each running a week long.