LBCC Summer Camps are in Full Swing

lbcc summer camp students fire a hand-made water-powered rocket into the air

Summer camp is officially in session on Linn-Benton Community College’s Albany campus. Music booms over the courtyard with smiles and laughter seemingly coming from every direction as campers from LBCC’s simplest camp, “Get Me Out of the House”, enjoy everything from tossing a frisbee to riding over-sized tricycles. 

According to Rob Camp, the Student Leadership Coordinator who is also the director in charge of putting the camps together, the idea here is simple: give kids a chance to get out of the house and enjoy themselves.

For thespians, there is a theater camp led by Michael Winder and Leslie Hammond where campers learn about every aspect of theater, aside from the acting. Winder works with the kids on storytelling and creating characters while Hammond teaches them about carpentry and building sets.

“In theory by the end, if it all clicks together, they’ll have created a character who has a story to tell in a location, and that [location] is somehow significant and comments on the story,” Winder said.

But that’s not the only thing. Winder and Hammond also spend a lot of time showing the campers how CTE is intertwined with theater. “The audience sees performers and everything seems to work magically,” Winder said. “But there’s lighting and sound design, everything backstage with construction, and all of the technical stuff. People with a STEM background can contribute; they don't have to be on stage.”

On the science side, campers could build rockets that they launched from the field. At the “Makey Makey” Camp, students were playing Super Mario using fruit as their controller.

Chris Singer, the Program Coordinator for the Mid-Valley STEM CTE Hub, led the camp for middle schoolers. The idea behind Makey Makey is that the campers are closing a circuit and that sends the signal as if they had just pressed the button. In addition to playing video games, the kids were also making music. For Singer, the amazing part is watching the kids figure out so much themselves.

“You do some basic instruction at the beginning and kind of give them the principles, but then they explore it all on their own and they come up with things on their own,” Singer said. “Two of the boys realized that if they hold hands, continuing that circuit, and then when somebody who's not even connected to it can play the instrument.”

The goal for Singer is to show all of the campers how much fun learning can be and to be confident in their abilities going forward. “I want them to have the confidence to do more of this knowing, ‘I invented things, I can go work for Space X’ or ‘I can go work for Tesla’ or ‘I can go work for HP,’” Singer said. “I want them to realize that if they can do stuff like this they can do anything.”

Camp’s goal with each of the camps is for everyone to have a positive and rewarding time with LBCC. “Our hope is to give these kids an experience where they want to come back to LBCC and keep learning,” Camp said.

And that idea seems to be working for at least one of the campers. 

“All week my daughter has been saying, ‘I can't wait to come to college here. I can't wait to come to school here. This is going to be so great,’” Singer said. “She’s saying that and she's only going in the seventh grade. I think that's cool.”

View photos from our summer camps. Next month, read about LBCC student teachers’ experiences at summer camp!