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Ilisagvik College Hosts Summer Camps

Are you looking for something fun to do this summer? How about filming a professional movie or becoming a certified emergency trauma technician? Ilisagvik College, in Barrow, Alaska is currently offering a variety of exciting summer camps to stimulate the youth of the North Slope. Are you worried camps may interfere with plans you already have? Luckily, camps range from one week to a month and are free. With nearly a dozen camps to choose from, Ilisagvik College has just the right camp for everyone.

For the third consecutive year the Allied Health program is hosting a camp for students ages 15 to 18. This summer the department has partnered with Northwest Area Health Education Center to facilitate emergency trauma technician training and CPR/first aid training to participants. Both of these skills will equip graduates to volunteer at their local fire stations. Campers will also get first-hand experience in various emergency situations, such as how to extract a victim from an auto accident. Superior students will be offered a job shadow in their field of interest in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Following the model of the popular high school camp, Ilisagvik unveiled the Allied Health for Middle School camp that caters to learners between the ages of 11 and 14. This is a one week camp that focuses on identity development and healthy choices.

Allied Health Program Coordinator Gloria Lomuscio is looking forward to this camp. “Adolescence is a time for exploring who you are and who you want to become. The camp will encourage students to lead a healthy lifestyle, set goals and make positive decisions for the future while having fun in the process.”

Ilisagvik offers a number of other camps that could lead directly into new careers—Construction Camp and Public Safety/Law Enforcement Camp. Those interested have missed the Construction Camp for this year, as it’s currently being held, but there’s always next year. The Public Safety camp will be held July 11-15. Students will learn about the role of the law as well as those careers that implement it through organizations such as police, courts, and corrections. Other topics will be small village systems, both traditional and modern.

Sharing Iñupiaq culture is high on the priority list through the Iñupiaq Land Use, Values, and Resources Camp and the Alaska/Mexico Indigenous Interchange Camp. This year Fannie Akpik is leading her campers to Point Hope at the Tiki?aq Old Town Site. Participants will participate in preparation of camp, hunting and food gathering experiences and learn how to subsist on the land and the rivers using skills and technologies stemming back thousands of years. The Alaska/Mexico Indigenous Interchange camp is in its final year. Local camp participants and Mexican students will be visiting Fairbanks, Barrow, and a few villages to share cultural experiences. Participants will spend time with biologists, archaeologists, oceanographers, climatologists, and even elders and other local experts.

Saga Aina, part of the Department of Students at Ilisagvik College, remembers the excitement about learning a new language in this program “that benefited both students and staff that were here all around meeting new people and making new friends.”

The science and math camps seek to draw laboratory techniques into real life, hands-on situations. Eider Journey Camp, STEM Camp, and Jurassic Genetics are the three options this year that fulfill this category. Eider Journey is the product of a partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Participants are paid for their involvement that includes fieldwork with biologists and follow-up activities concerning the conservation of Steller’s eiders. STEM camp refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It takes place in early July and is an introduction to a variety of related careers as well as hands on experiences in the field. Jurassic Genetics is offered with University of Alaska-Fairbanks and will be hosted on Ilisagvik’s campus. Students will collect their own samples, and then will work in a research lab learning genetics and molecular biology using the samples they collected. Possible case studies include studying genetically modified food and the genes of salmon recently discovered locally.

Are you looking for a creative outlet? The Digital Media camp from last year has become the Film Camp this summer, and will run from June 23 through the end of July. Ilisagvik is looking for those interested in all aspects of movie making, including storytelling, acting, writing, and camera work. There will be two separate classes in this camp—one for students with some experience working on films and an interest in production, and another for new students with no background who would like to be in front of the camera. As the camp comes to an end there are plans to have a finished, professional quality film based on local culture.

April Phillip will be a camp counselor at Ilisagvik this summer and she attended the film camp last year. “I had so much fun and learned so much from the film camp. I think if anyone wants a new experience or is interested they should come to the camp this summer,” she said.

All camps offer free college credit, which can also be used for credit through the North Slope Borough School District. The application can be found on the Ilisagvik website. Additional applications are required for the Eider Journey camp and Jurassic Genetics—contact Amber Neher at 907-852-1772 or for these applications and any additional questions you may have on any of the camps.