CTE summer camp

Clare

Following a two-year absence, CTE Summer Camp roared back to a record enrollment and rave reviews.

For several years, the camp, put on by the staff of Clare-Gladwin Career & Technical Education, had been a summer mainstay. But unavoidable site logistics and COVID-19 left local kids camp-less the past two summers. 

This year, the infusion of another summer program drove the number of participants to triple digits. “The camp was phenomenal,” said CTE Director Eric Johnson. “We had 106 kids participate; previously, we never had more than 35 or 40. The turnout was up, the kids were excited and the staff did a great job demonstrating what CTE is all about.”

At the camp, held June 21-23, students had the opportunity to get hands-on in any of seven different career fields, including agricultural science, automotive technology, construction trades, criminal justice, culinary arts, digital media and education occupations (aka babysitting boot camp). 

“We had kids learning how to change a tire, and swing a hammer, and drive a tractor,” Johnson said. “We taught them the essentials of babysitting, the ins and outs of law enforcement, the principles of design and safety in the kitchen. We had something for everybody.” CTE is a vocational program under the auspices of Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District. This year, another CGRESD entity, the SPARKS program, which provides after-school and summer programming for kids in Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison encouraged dozens of its students to attend the camp.

“Bringing in students from SPARKS was a real boost for our enrollment,” Johnson said. “With help from SPARKS, we were fully staffed to handle the larger numbers and their involvement made the camp even better. The kids had fun, and they learned something as well.”

In their written evaluation of the camp, the kids agreed, with all seven classes getting high marks and positive comments, including: “I loved it. Don’t change anything; The hands-on activities were awesome; Learning while making friends was fun; I loved being outdoors; I loved my teachers; I liked working with the tools; Make the camp longer.”

Clare-Gladwin CTE provides what was previously recognized in local high schools as vocational education or skilled trades training. CTE offers that training to juniors and seniors at high schools in Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison in many diverse career fields, including automotive technology, culinary arts, construction trades, health occupations, advanced manufacturing, digital media, welding technology, education occupations, criminal justice and agricultural science. 

Students learn valuable professional and personal skills that help prepare them for life after high school, whether it’s in college, the workforce or both. For more information, visit the CTE website at www.CTEitsworking.com.

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