School summer camps

build solid career skills

“How did you spend your summer vacation?”

Come next fall, several groups of students across Douglas County will be able to answer that age-old question in very dynamic ways. Here are some examples:

  • “I was part of a team that built and raced a solar car.”
  • “My classmates and I learned how to use a mig welder and cutting torch.”
  • “We spent four days in a job shadow at a local doctor’s office.”

These are all activities that will be taking place at various Career & Technical Education (CTE) summer camps for middle school and high school students. The camps are sponsored by school and community partners of the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub.


The Expanding Horizons CTE Summer Camps will take place in June, July and August in multiple sites in Douglas County, with some camps offering overnight, multiple-day field trips to places like Oregon Health & Science University. All camps are free of charge, with transportation assistance available in some locations. Some camps offer free lunches (and also breakfast) as part of the experience.

The camps are funded through a two-year, $198,060 grant secured by the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub. The camps offer experiences that align with CTE programs of study in our high schools and Umpqua Community College. All the camps feature a career skills component, developed in partnership with Umpqua Training and Employment. In addition, each camp offers post-high school education coaching, in partnership with UCC.

Through these camps, the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub is helping to fulfill the mission of Douglas County Partners for Student Success, which oversees the STEAM Hub. DCPSS came together in 2013 to create a cradle-to-career path for county students that improves their chances for satisfying, well-paid jobs. We at DCPSS believe Education Matters! #DCEdMatters

Other area summer camps and sessions have a blend of activities, many of them STEAM-related, and are definitely worth exploring. Among them are those offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Umpqua Valley in Roseburg, Winston Area Community Partnership, Safe Place for Kids in South Douglas County, Umpqua Community College, Umpqua Valley Arts Center in Roseburg, community volunteers in Yoncalla and the YMCA of Douglas County. Watch for a roundup of these opportunities, including dates, locations and contact information, appearing soon online at

To find out more about the Expanding Horizons CTE Summer Camp locations and curriculum, go to An online registration form, which remains accessible after schools are out for the summer, can be found at

You can also see a print description of the Expanding Horizons camps and other summer learning activities in a News-Review insert, Cradle to Career, to be published in June.

Expanding Horizons camps will allow site students to say this to describe their summer vacations: “I got to explore the skills I needed for a great career, and took big steps toward preparing for my future.”


Gwen Soderberg-Chase is the executive director of Douglas County Partners for Student Success, She has been an educator in Douglas County for 38 years. She also serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Umpqua Valley and SMART.

Gwen Soderberg-Chase



Leave a Reply