College for Kids – Back and bigger than ever

August 6, 2021

Nate Lenngton, MCC, and Walter Ray, LASD, had fun making tile pieces.

College for Kids – Back and bigger than ever

By Kate Goodman, MCP Correspondant. 

WSCC News is a presentation of West Shore Community College in partnership with Mason County Press. 

Alesia Gamez, Pentwater, makes a tile rainbow swirl inspired by her College for Kids shirt.

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — College for Kids, the week-long summer day camp hosted by West Shore Community College, came to an end today as the biggest year yet. This year, 188 kids were enrolled in morning and afternoon classes held on the WSCC main campus.  It breaks the previous record of 110 students.  For the 2021 year, the program was able to offer 15 different and unique classes for children ages 9-15.

Students registered for classes that appealed to their interests including Adventure in Ceramics, Babysitting Basics, Welding Warmup, and Crime Scene Investigation. Kids get a chance to experience the field hands-on. 

“There’s interest from the kids to come and learn something,” first year instructor and retired Ludington Police Department detective, J.B. Wells said. “I’m retired, but passionate about law enforcement.” To engage the students, Wells put together an actual case revolving around money fraud. Students had to work together in teams to prove the suspect’s guilt. “We assign people to certain jobs and fill out ‘search warrants’,” said team detective, Brandi Wells, eighth grade student from Ludington Area School District, “and we get candy if we get the cases right!”

Mariah Bee practices using a virtual reality headset.

In the business related field, students had the chance to choose from five interactive classes: Babysitting Basics, Build a Business, Engineering by Design, Culinary Calculations, and Virtual Reality.

“The students are now CPR certified via the Red Cross,” said Babysitting Basics instructor, Jennifer Hlady. For the remainder of the day, future babysitters spent the time creating a scavenger hunt around campus for the last day. “For practice, they will be babysitting a group of seven year old boys,” said Hlady. 

Babysitting Basics was not the only class preparing for Friday, the last day of camp. The students in Virtual Reality, hosted by Chad Riffle, were excited to premier their final projects. “They are experiencing how to build worlds on the computers,” said Riffle. The student then visited those worlds on their VR headsets. 

Each student built their own unique and creative world. Wyatt Jalocha, Ludington Area Schools sixth grade student, built his own desert survival game. “A desert simulator where you have to survive in the desert. A game with puzzles to solve, such as finding what sink has water,” he said.

Students with an artistic side, had the chance to choose from several classes: Adventures in Ceramics, Calling all Inventors, PicFlix, and The Art of Theater.

“It makes me happy, making cool stuff,” said Eily McCormick, LASD fifth grader. 

Students made clay projects that they were thrilled to take home on the last day of camp.

“I wanted to make bowls. I’m really excited,” said Mason County Central sixth grader Ashton Shultz. Other students like Nate Lenington,from MCC, made a replica of a face that he once saw in a museum. Besides hands on art, The Art of Theater, taught by instructor Amanda Colleen, taught students the several aspects of working the theatre like acting, costuming, makeup, and lighting. 

Yael DeBoni, a homeschool student from Manistee said, “We’re doing face paint, scars, and zombie makeup.”

College for Kids would not have been possible without several local donors and partners. For more information regarding College for Kids, please visit

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