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Portage Campus to host new skilled trades camp for Aboriginal youth

July 17, 2014

10727138914_e8b5e794d3_bCareer-camp season is already in full swing at Red River College’s Winnipeg campuses, where middle-schoolers are broadening their horizons through summer sessions on trades, technology and the culinary arts.

Now RRC’s Portage Campus has unveiled plans to extend the season a little longer, announcing the launch of a new trades camp for Aboriginal youth that makes its debut next month.

This August, Portage Campus hosts its inaugural Trades Exploration (Tr.Ex.) camps for kids in Grades 6-8, offering a fun and informative five-day mix of trades-based learning, culture and recreation.

“The Portage Campus is very excited to be delivering their first-ever Tr.Ex. camp in partnership with Apprenticeship Manitoba,” says Lori-Ann Grenkow, RRC’s Interim Director, Regional Services. “Camp participants will have fun exploring three skilled trades areas: Carpentry, Chef/Cook and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. In addition, they’ll have a great time participating in a variety of recreational activities and crafts, and learning about traditional Aboriginal teachings.”

Participants can take their pick of two sessions this summer — the first runs Aug. 18-22, the second from Aug. 25-29. Both are open to status, non-status and Métis youth, and both are free of charge (though a refundable $50 deposit is required to register).

Each camp can accommodate up to 16 participants. Programming will be coordinated by Portage Campus staff, with the help of two newly-hired camp assistants who’ll complement their efforts.

“These individuals are bringing great experience, knowledge and creative ideas to the camp,” says Grenkow. “It’s an exciting summer at the Portage Campus.”

Portage’s Tr.Ex. model is based on the popular HAWK (Hands-on Activities Week for Kids) camps for Aboriginal youth, delivered by RRC’s School of Indigenous Education through a three-year cohort model at the Notre Dame Campus.

As with the Portage program, the HAWK camps give kids aged 10-12 a chance to explore everything from carpentry to photography to veterinary studies, all while learning more about traditional teachings and practices. (Click here to read a recent Winnipeg Free Press story about the HAWK Camps.)

Earlier this summer, RRC hosted its annual GETT@RRC (Girls Exploring Trades & Technology) camps, which stress the importance of high school math and science courses as gateways to careers in non-traditional fields. The similarly-themed TEC@RRC (Technology Exploration Camps) familiarize boys and girls aged 11-13 with engineering technology-related disciplines, via hands-on activities and demonstrations.

And over at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute downtown, RRC’s School of Continuing Education is serving up another season of Kids Cook@RRC camps, where youths aged 10-15 can learn to prepare tasty and nutritious meals under the tutelage of our award-winning chefs and culinary instructors.

The Kids Cook camps run each week until Aug. 8. (Unfortunately, they’re fully booked for the summer.)

For more information on Portage Campus’s Tr.Ex. Camps, visit or call 204.856.1914.