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Summertime learning opportunities for youth at Okanagan College

A growing demand for Okanagan College’s summer camps for youth has prompted the institution to increase capacity and expand offerings to Salmon Arm.

Camp OC, Okanagan College’s summer camp for children and teens, will be offered in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Revelstoke and now Salmon Arm.

With the addition of 15 camps and 1,000 new spaces throughout the Okanagan, more than 1,700 youth are already registered to attend Camp OC this summer.

From Robotics and Metal Fabrication to Chef Academy and Astronaut Space Training, parents and kids have a variety of programs in arts, science, trades and technology to choose from to meet a diverse set of interests.

“Summer camps at Camp OC offer opportunities for youth to spend time immersed in topics that are engaging and informative,” explains Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training. “In the 15 years Camp OC has been running, we’ve seen significant growth in attendance and community interest. In turn, our camps are growing to reflect the topics and needs we see in our community.”

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Technology plays an important role in day-to-day life, and an emphasis on technology awareness has been incorporated into many of the camps available this summer.

The great thing about technology is that it’s applicable to every school subject 

“The great thing about technology is that it’s applicable to every school subject,” says Sarah Foss, Computer Science Instructor at Okanagan College. “When we code, we’re also learning about creative problem solving. When we make computers respond to our precise requests, we’re learning to think critically and can apply that to other areas. Having the opportunity to explore these ideas through subjects that are exciting to kids can have a broad reaching impact.

“We’ll be looking at the freedom and creativity that programming allows us to bring to projects, as well as the safe and responsible use of technology,” Foss continues. “As with all the camps planned for Camp OC, we want to learn and have a great time doing it.”

We’ll be looking at the freedom and creativity that programming allows us to bring to projects, as well as the safe and responsible use of technology

Camp OC is also a chance for high school students to boost their resumes and chalk up volunteer hours required for graduation. With more than 100 camps to choose from in Kelowna this year, many opportunities to volunteer in key positions are still available. 

“Camp OC really values the volunteers who join us for a week or more in the summer,” says Helena Jordo, Camp OC Coordinator. “It's a great opportunity for youth ages 14 and up to gain experience in a leadership role in the classroom. With professional teachers and educators teaching the camps, this is a great opportunity for mentorship.

“Volunteers also receive hours towards graduation credits. We work very closely with SD23 to offer a good program for their students, and Camp OC would not be able to run as smoothly without the positive impact these volunteers bring.”

After camp care for students who will be entering Grades 1 to 6 this fall will be available at the Kelowna campus. Parents will once again have the option of enrolling their child in week-long after camp care where qualified staff will engage them in activities until 5 p.m.

Space is still available in some camps. To find out more or to register, visit campoc.ca.