Camp Metalwork

Forget portaging and gimp bracelets, summer camp could be a highly pragmatic stretch of sun-soaked weeks during which young people learn to forge metal, say, or another trade that could serve them in a future vocation.

In Ontario, nearly 400 kids entering grades 7-9 will attend a Skills Ontario Summer Camp this summer. Held throughout the province in partnership with Magna, Hydro One, the Government of Ontario, and many colleges and industry organizations, this week-long camp offers industrial workshops, industry tours, mentorships and hands-on activities relevant to skilled trades.

And it’s just one of a growing collection of practical options for camp-bound youngsters.

Here are some others across Canada:

Digital Media Academy

This camp introduces kids aged 6-17 to the many facets of technology, including engineering. A girls-only program, Made for Girls, sees industry leaders, artists and creators talking up STEM learning. The camp has locations in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Connections: Queen’s Summer Engineering Academy

This camp, which takes place on the Queen’s campus in Kingston, Ont., offers students entering Grades 10, 11 and 12 the opportunity to experience engineering in a university setting.

Skills Canada Saskatchewan Summer Skills Camp

The itinerary for the Small Engine Day Camp includes sessions on compression system valves, engine rebuilds and “carburetor teardowns.” This and other week-long camps are offered for kids in Grades 7-9

North End Trades Discovery Initiatives

This innovative program offers young people in Winnipeg’s North End neighbourhood the chance to learn about careers in the skilled trades. Kids get trades awareness experience and hands-on training.

It’s a camp like one of these, says Karen Throupe, Skills Ontario’s summer camp manager, that could turn out the next great metalworker.

“Through fun, hands-on activities, [they] provide an opportunity for young people to explore a range of viable career options, to become aware of the apprenticeship pathway and the relevant courses they can take in high school, and to recognize how vital employability skills are to their future success.”

Camp Metalwork