Building for Tomorrow trades and technology summer camp started on July 5 and ran until July 11. The camp was open to all northern youth from 13-16, and it focused on showcasing different career options.
Alyssa Harman, the northern in-school program officer for Skills Canada Manitoba, has been travelling with the kids everyday to a new business in the city. “Everyday for the week we had a tour at some industrial business around Thompson. We spent two days touring Vale, we went to Manitoba Hydro, Smook Contracting and Speedy Auto Glass.” Harman says it’s important for the kids to have hands-on experience as that will help them think about different careers and see what they like and dislike.
Just under 20 students took part in the camp, which was completely free and funded by Apprenticeship Manitoba, Vale and Skills Canada Manitoba. Students spent the evenings at the Boy Scouts cabins at Liz Lake, and a camp organization company from Winnipeg called Momenta was hired as counsellors for the evenings.
For Zackary Brenton, a camper from Thompson, the highlight of camp was visiting Manitoba Hydro, because that’s his dream career. Brenton had the chance to climb a pole with the supervision of a hydro worker. “You wear these big boots that have spikes in them, and you have to jab the spikes in the pole while you lift your belt up. It was harder than I thought.” Although it was hard, Brenton hopes one day to be doing it for a living.
Campers also built and raced cardboard boats, made toolboxes with a carpenter, played Top Chef, and created bunsen burners out of cans.
“It’s awesome seeing the kids do this, and being able to be a part of it, and part of their future planning. Their minds are growing, and they’re at such an impressionable age, it’s really cool to see them getting ideas of what they want to do,” noted Harman.
This was the first time this type of summer camp has ever happened, and Harman says as long as the funding is available, they will continue.