WINTERVILLE, N.C. — Pitt Community College held a camp this month to introduce area Boys & Girls Club participants to curricula and opportunities for them to get started on higher education while in high school.

   Organized by PCC Technical Assistant Crystal Boseman and Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Lori Preast, the camp took place July 11-14 and brought youngsters to campus from the Jack Minges Boys & Girls Club in Winterville and Greenville’s Grady-White Boats Boys & Girls Club. Campers ranged from rising seventh graders to high school sophomores.

   “The purpose of the summer camp was to introduce students to some of the many options they have at PCC,” Preast said. “We wanted them to experience some of the programming we offer, see our state-of-the-art campus, and interact with a few of our amazing faculty and staff.”

   Boseman said PCC has held camps for Boys & Girls Club participants for several years, hoping they will prompt youngsters to consider post-secondary education plans and begin preparing for college programs they want to pursue throughout high school. She said the campus have also given PCC personnel a chance to emphasize the importance of maintaining good grades.

   “I wanted them to know they can go to college no matter what they face and that we’re here to help them succeed in their future educational goals,” Boseman said.

   The camp’s first day featured introductions, a campus tour and a presentation on the Bulldog Promise Scholarship Program by PCC Director of Recruiting and First-Year Experience John Carrere. The scholarship offers up to four semesters of tuition-free education to select Pitt students.

   Day two’s activities included a PCC-Pitt County Schools (PCS) Technical Academy presentation by the college’s Lynn Griffin, and day three saw PCC’s Cortisha Skinner discuss North Carolina’s Career & College Promise Program and lead campers through a personality assessment. Campers toured the PCS Early College High School on Pitt’s main campus in Winterville on their final day of camp.

   “Students learned that by taking and successfully completing PCC courses while they are in high school, they can not only get a jumpstart on their college education tuition-free, they may qualify for a Bulldog Promise Scholarship once they graduate from high school,” Preast said.

   Tours and hands-on activities with Construction & Industrial Technology programs figured prominently on three of the four camp dates. While visiting Automotive Systems Technology shops, campers made edible cars. The following day, after stopping by the PCC Greenhouse and learning about Horticulture Technology, they created terrariums. The youngsters built birdhouses the final day of camp, after touring the college’s Building Construction Technology facilities.

   Boseman said each hands-on activity featured a lesson in budgeting. When determining what they wanted to include in their creations, campers had to consider the cost of parts they would need in building them and remain within the budget they were assigned on the camp’s first day, she said.

   “I have gone to career fairs and spoken with students and adults who said they wished high schools offered some type of coursework on being financially smart to prepare them for life after graduation,” Boseman said. “By focusing on budgeting throughout camp, we wanted to help participants see the importance of fiscal responsibility and how life events, good or bad, play a significant role in financial planning.”