Students Explore Vocational Trades at Career Pathways Camps at SCC

Friday, June 21, 2024 at 2:59 PM

By Genesis: Pathways to Success, news release

Students were exposed to trades such as welding, automotive technician, cosmetology, and veterinary technician.

Photo provided.

(Ripley County, Ind.) - Genesis: Pathways to Success’ A Summer of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) programming ventured forth this week with the Career Pathways Camps at the Southeastern Career Center. Across eight different camps, over 200 students from middle schools across Southeastern Indiana were exposed to the world of vocational trades such as welding, automotive technician, cosmetology, and veterinary technician.

The bustling week opened on Monday, June 17th, with an energetic lineup of activities. The morning saw the Rev It Up: Automotive and Diesel Camp, where attendees delved into the inner workings of diesel and gas engines, alongside hands-on tire changes. Meanwhile, at Camp Construction Junction in the afternoon, students immersed themselves in carpentry by crafting planters, explored electrical trades through building working lights, and tackled heavy machinery in construction trades.

Day two of the Career Pathways Camps began with the flavorful Gourmet & Glamor: Culinary & Cosmetology Camp. As budding cosmetologists learned the intricacies of hair care, from styling to brushing and curling, culinary enthusiasts decorated charcuterie boards and cupcakes to refine their cooking finesse. In the afternoon, In the Line of Duty: Public Safety Camp divided campers into law enforcement and firefighting sessions. From mastering forensic techniques like fingerprinting and evidence collection to wielding fire hoses and in depth looks at firefighting tools, students gained firsthand insights into these critical professions.

On the third day, enthusiasm soared at Critters & Crops: Veterinary Science and Agriculture Camp. Future veterinary technicians practiced administering medicine, bandaging, and assessing vital signs on real and stuffed animals alike. Concurrently, agricultural explorers crafted seed bombs and assembled greenhouses, gaining practical skills in sustainable farming. Later in the afternoon, attention turned to digital frontiers at Bits & Bytes Digital Discovery Camp. Campers delved into computer architecture, server functions, and digital artistry, uncovering the intricate workings of modern technology and creative expression.

On the fourth and final day of camp, students immersed themselves in the intricate world of Metal Masters Camp, refining their welding skills with precision. Apprentices diligently operated MIG welding machines, experienced the techniques of robotic plasma welding tables, and honed their craftsmanship by skillfully grinding welds to perfection. Concurrently, Health Heroes Camp offered a comprehensive exploration of healthcare professions, including practical nurses, dental assistants, and medical assistants. Students engaged in hands-on learning, mastering essential skills such as infant care, on-the-go CPR administration, dental mold formation, teeth cleaning techniques, and the application of braces. These sessions provided invaluable insights into the diverse and vital roles within the healthcare sector, preparing students for potential future careers with expertise and confidence.

In addition to giving students a brief overview of the responsibilities for these various professions and the technical STEM concepts associated with them, the Career Pathways Camps gave students a greater understanding and appreciation of vocational trades. This facet of these camps is exemplified by the Principal of the Southeastern Career Center Adam Pietrykowski, “These summer camps are a wonderful opportunity for young people to see different levels of the everyday activities that surround them. Everyone knows that a mechanic can change a tire, but not everyone gets to see the level of technical detail that goes into diagnostics and automation in an auto shop. Each camp gave students not only a little bit of what they already knew about each field, it also provided them a window into the depth of skill and knowledge it takes to be a professional in those areas. Our goal was to send students home with a fun experience, some new skills, and a new appreciation of the areas they came to camp to experience, and I believe we have been very successful.”

Giving students the opportunity to fully grasp and gain hands-on experience allows them to truly understand the daily operations of vocational professions. From practicing automotive diagnostics, to applying electrical engineering concepts, to seeing network servers in action, these students are able to comprehend the complexities of these professions. Our Career Pathways Camps aim to provide students with an enjoyable, educational, and pragmatic experience to help them discern potential career paths effectively. This approach has had an impact on the students, as shown through a quote by Hannah Redicker, an incoming 6th grade homeschooled student, “My favorite part of camp has been the hands-on approach. The instructors encourage us to dive into the task they have created and learn through practice how problems are solved. This approach has also let me work with tools and equipment that I would not have ever been near.”

Genesis: Pathways to Success would like to thank the Southeastern Career Center for hosting the Career Pathways Camp and their valuable partnership in providing students with a unique learning opportunity distinct from traditional classroom teaching. We would also like to thank the instructors at the Southeastern Career Center for graciously sharing their wisdom and expertise with the students through fun, engaging activities. Additionally, we would like to thank our volunteers for their endless dedication to providing students with alternative pathways to education. If you would like to learn additional information about this summer camp, please visit If you have questions regarding A Summer of STREAM, please contact the Genesis: Pathways to Success Office by emailing, calling 812-933-1098, or visiting 13 E. George Street, Suite B, Batesville, IN 47006.

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