Pizza. Burgers. Cotton candy and sno cones.
Bowling. Carnival rides. Catchphrase and Family Feud.
New friends, sunshine and a newly discovered appreciation for what they might want to do in the future.
These are the makings of a successful, fun-filled Summer Camp 2014 for the 131 recent high school graduates and rising seniors who spent three days and two nights with Pittsburgh Technical Institute at the end of July.
Arriving on campus Monday morning, July 28, some with parents and siblings in tow, some a bit sheepish and anxious, this year’s campers quickly acclimated to PTI campus life.
“One thing that always is amazing to see is how the students arrive the first morning and don't know anyone and then, by the end of day one, they already have formed close friendships,” said Steve Macri, PTI Career Development Specialist (CDS) who greeted campers and families as they arrived.
In Camp Trades, the high school students clearly favored either HVAC Technology or Welding Technology, which created a playful divide between the HVAC-ers and the Weld-ers. Current PTI students, who helped with Camp, touted the benefits of their chosen career field, to no avail. These high school students clearly knew what they wanted.
“Good natured jokes and jabs floated between the HVAC and Welding students that first day, and continued throughout Camp which galvanized the group,” observed David Martin, another member of the PTI CDS team who served as camp counselors.
After spending the first day orienting to campus, meeting roommates and classmates they would spend the next 48 hours with, and sitting in classrooms and labs in their respective Camps, these young men and women headed to the bowling alleys.
There, friendly competition erupted between campers, between campers and the CDS team, and between the CDSs themselves.
Day two of Camp immersed the high school students in career fields they wanted to explore. From baking bread in the kitchens of the American Academy of Culinary Arts in Camp Patisserie, to casting footprints in Camp CSI, recording vital signs and learning the inner workings of an operating room in Camp Med, digitally creating website concepts in Camp Design, learning about oil wells in Camp Energy, to coding an app in Camp Technology, the campers worked alongside PTI faculty and AACA chefs.
“Camp Technology is fun. I programmed an app called Tic Tac Toe, “ said Ian Gillespie, a 2015 high school graduate from Glen Oak High School and a resident of Canton, OH. “I learned the code to program the app. It’s fun actually using code.”
Kaitlyn Gasior, a 2014 graduate of Canon McMillan High School and a resident of Canonsburg, attended AACA’s Camp Patisserie. “I like it a lot, especially the hands-on activities with Chef,” she said. “I get to see what we’d be doing if we decided to come here.”
Day two ended in a big way with the campers attending PTI’s annual Carnival which featured Superman, Cobra and Round Up thrill rides which spun and twirled riders. Campers also enjoyed amusement park-style games, such as Wheel of Prizes, Pong Pong Toss, Super Softball and High Rollers; dined on carnival fare and cookout staples; and danced to the sounds of PJ the DJ.
Christopher Morrison, a member of the class of 2015 at Norway High School who hails from Wooster, OH, commented, “I wanted to learn more about the school and I learned what it’s like on campus.”
That evening back at the hotel CDS Steve Macri sat down at a table with six of the campers, three males and three females who wanted to show him a card trick. “We spent the next hour in conversation. We shared stories about where we were from and our families, and best of all, they told me what an amazing time they were having and how they didn't want it to end,” he shared.
As Camp concluded on day three and as families returned to campus to retrieve their students, the bonds of friendship were evident.
“Students were exchanging numbers and connecting on social media, even making plans to potentially room together when they came to PTI,” said Macri.
Troy Grunseth, PTI CDS, agreed that the campers enjoyed Summer Camp 2014. “The most common complaint we received from the campers was one I was happy to hear,” he shared. “They said camp was too short and they did not want to leave.”
Nicki DeMark, PTI CDS, matched Troy’s experience. “One of our campers thanked us for a great three days. He appreciated all that PTI did to make sure everyone enjoyed summer camp.”
Check out Summer Camp images to see classroom, lab and campus activities.
ABOUT PITTSBURGH TECHNICAL INSTITUTE
Offering career-focused education since 1946, Pittsburgh Technical Institute is a two-year college with a 180-acre campus in North Fayette, west of Pittsburgh. PTI offers degree and certificate programs in areas such as Building Technology, Business, Criminal Justice, Design, Healthcare, Nursing, and Information Technology.
PTI students can take advantage of online course offerings, on-campus residence halls, student activities, intramural programs and community service programs. PTI is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
PTI was recognized by its employees as one of the region´s Top Places to Work in a 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 study commissioned by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
For more information, call 1-800-784-9675, or visit http://www.pti.edu/.