Fun in the sun in Wilsonville
While youth may lounge, relax or travel during summer break, there are plenty of opportunities to continue learning, while still having fun.
Youth can learn wilderness survival techniques, uncover what it takes to build a robot or help protect internet users from cyberattacks by signing up for one of the many local summer camps, either through Wilsonville Parks and Recreation Department or an outside organization.
World of Speed Education Director Lewis Ferguson is particularly excited about new camps the auto museum will offer this summer.
World of Speed has an automotive program that allows high school students to receive college credit by taking classes focused on automotive fundamentals, general auto repair and small engine repair. This summer, there will be an intro to auto tech camp — a weeklong, smaller scale version of the yearlong program — where teens can learn maintenance techniques for cars and how to diagnose issues.
"We are going to have expert instructors who are here to work with students," Ferguson said, adding that the summer camp is open to any high schooler — home-schooled or out-of-area — unlike the year-round auto tech program.
Also new this year is a water camp for young children where they can experiment with different types of liquid and compare it to water. Ferguson also mentioned some "bubble fun" that will take place. "Because bubbles are just awesome," he said.
The number of tech camps World of Speed offers has increased due to high demand. At the robotics camp, children can build their own robot to compete against other robots.
"It's kind of a battle bot sort of thing," Ferguson said.
There is a 3D tech camp where youth create a design of their choosing on the computer, learn about the software World of Speed uses, and then 3D print their design.
"You get to leave with a finished product," Ferguson said. "They're starting to 3D print car parts, even fabric for clothing. It's a really cool introduction into something that could be a pretty amazing career."
For more information or to register for one of World of Speed's camps, visit www.worldofspeed.org/camps.
For youth interested in making computers secure and resistant to hackers, there is the NW Cyber Camp, a camp designed to equip students with the knowledge and tools to make computers safe.
From July 15-19, the cyber defense camp invites industry guest speakers to give lectures about real-world cybersecurity techniques and provide guidance for students interested in a cybersecurity career. The camp is open to all high schools and has five locations — Wilsonville, Portland, Gresham and Corvallis. Most are co-ed camps, but there is one girls-only camp.
"I'm a strong believer in the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for young adults - particularly young women," said Peggy Miller, CEO of PacStar, whose company has been the title sponsor of NW Cyber Camp for going on 4 years. "I know firsthand how STEM educational programs like NW Cyber Camp have benefitted young women in our community by sparking their interest in cybersecurity and encouraging them to pursue technical careers. Studies have shown that having separate girls only sections for STEM encourages girls to take risks in their learning in an environment where they are freer to speak up and be validated."
If a student has already attended a NW Cyber Camp, there is an option for a new co-ed advanced camp from July 22-26 at the Center for Advanced Learning in Gresham.
Five teens who attend the camp are eligible for a scholarship for an online Public Key Infrastructure training course valued at $4,250.
For more information about the camp and scholarship, visit https://www.nwcyber.camp/.
For younger children who prefer to be outdoors, Tualatin Riverkeepers offers four camps that run through summer for children ages 7-13. Campers can explore what it means to have a balanced ecosystem, learn about river creatures and adventure.
"I especially like the ones for older kids because reaching children at that point in their lives, they are in an evolutionary spot. They might want to go to camp or they think they're too old or too cool for camp," said Tualatin Riverkeepers Camp Director Kris Balliet, adding that she tries to have more independent activities like fly fishing for the older kids.
The weeklong camps are held at Dirksen Nature Park in Tigard, 11130, S.W. Tigard St. and focus on hands-on learning in nature. One day a week, children spend the day at Cook Park and can paddle board and Kayak on the Tualatin River.
Balliet said she is also excited for the new playground, outdoor pavilion and bathrooms with running water installed at Dirksen.
"It's a much more comfortable place to be," she said.
There are also many summer camps in Wilsonville's own backyard. For half and full day sports camps — basketball, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball and cheerleading, to name a few — survival camps, science camps and more, visit http://bit.ly/2WQhogZ.