CLARKS SUMMIT, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — There are all kinds of summer camps these days to give kids something to do on vacation. But there Is one local camp that may surprise you. It is giving teens a taste of a career in construction planning.
17 teenagers are getting schooled in architecture engineering and interior design at Highland Associates in Clarks Summit. The firm lends an assist to Marywood University’s architecture summer camp called “Design Your Future”. Off campus and on, campers get a two-week crash course in architectural aspects — ranging from the practical to the technical.
“I learned the basics really, structure and little spaces I believe,” said 16-year-old Catherin Kovalcik. You could say the Pleasant Valley High School Junior has the architecture gene. “My mom is an architect so I kind of grew up around it.” So did 17-year-old Gabriella Daymon of Warrnington, Bucks County whose dad is a general contractor. “I’ve always been interested in designing whenever he did stuff around the house and did handiwork around the house.”
Highland Associates Architect Chris Police had a hand in several northeastern Pennsylvania projects — including Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in downtown Scranton. He’s impressed with the campers. “They have a very good understanding for what could potentially be ahead of them.”
While these teens get to figure out how space factors into design, they get to figure out something else. “The main reason I’m taking the course is to just figure out is this something I want to study in college,” said 17-year-old Drew Sokolowski of Summit, New Jersey.
The camp has also proven to be a bit of a feeder program for Marywood University. In the six years of having campers, nearly half have ended up enrolling there. Marywood University Associate Professor of Architecture Kate O’Connor started the camp and said, “As students start looking at schools they can actually take two weeks in summer and escalate their learning.” And put a potential career on the fast track. “I’m excited for this big step into my future of being an architect,” said Ms. Daymon.
Teens participating in the “Design Your Future” camp also earn three college credits.