Kids and teens get moving, try hands at new activities during Summer! Kids@Carroll! + Teen College camps

Kids ages 12 to 15 crouched over counters that were scattered with metal bowls and cooking supplies in the Carroll County Career and Technology Center kitchen.

They mixed dry ingredients such as flour and salt in one large bowl before forming a well in the center. In another bowl, they mixed together eggs, oil and cream with a whisk. As the ingredients blended, students took the mixture from the bowl and onto the counter where they began to knead it.


For students like 13-year-old Cadi Kepner, of Westminster, Wednesday’s lesson on handmade pasta was the best so far.

Her overall favorite part of the class?

“Eating it later on,” Cadi said.

And, she said, it’s not just fun.

“I’ve learned a lot. There’s different techniques that he’s been showing us throughout the week,” she added.

Cadi was one of about a dozen kids in this week’s World Cuisine class, a five-day camp that is part of Carroll Community College’s Summer! Kids@Carroll + Teen College, which includes classes like the science camp, circus camp, drawing camp.

Greg Hutsell, a recreational cooking instructor at the college and the camp’s teacher, said the week’s class focuses on four different areas — Italy, Spain, South East Asia and the Caribbean.

“They’re learning authentic techniques,” Hutsell said.

His course focuses on traditional methods and the food is made from scratch, he said, adding that nothing they make comes from a can. Hutsell said in addition to learning how to cook, the kids get a chance to learn about the historical and cultural aspects of the food.

During the class, he said, he tries to tie a lot of the lessons back into the United States. For example, he said, he talked with the students about paella from Spain and risotto from Italy, and how all of that, combined with some African dishes, got to Louisiana and was combined into a dish to make jambalaya.

In the end, Hutsell said, the class is just a lot of fun.

“This group has been one of the best I’ve ever had,” he said.

Hutsell said some students come in with a lot of experience, while others are newer. But, he added, they all get into it and have a good time. And, he said, they take a lot of pride in the work they do.

“I think the key is that they make really good food. And it tastes really good and that’s really hard to complain about,” he said. “Plus it’s the work of their hands.”


Just up the road, younger kids — ages 8 to 11 — got a chance to try some new moves in the Hip Hop Dance class. Corinne Luetje, a dance teacher in Montgomery County, said the class has been doing a lot this week.

“We started off Monday with learning some different hip hop steps and different elements of hip hop” like pop locking and breaking, she said.

Luetje said they also viewed some videos so the students could get a better idea of how the dance moves worked. During the week, the group has been working on a group piece for a performance on Friday.

In Wednesday’s class, kids started with jumping jacks and stretching to music before starting on the group dance practice. They worked through the dance — which is set to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” — first running through a portion in full, before stopping to break it down move-by-move and work on smaller parts.

Luetje said the kids also get a chance to work on some small group projects that incorporate what they’ve learned, and also gives them a chance to come up with their own dance moves. For many of the kids, she added, getting to try new moves they’ve created is their favorite part.

The class is great, because it’s an opportunity for the kids to get up and moving, Luetje said.

“It seems to get their energy out,” she said.

Some of them have come in with dance backgrounds, Luetje said, though even those who have done dance before haven’t done hip hop.

“It’s nice to get a different variety of dance,” she added.

Nine-year-old Katie Collins was one of those kids. She’s taken ballet before, Katie said, but hasn’t taken a hip hop class before this week.

Katie, of Sykesville, said hip hop just sounded fun, and she wanted to try something new. Her favorite part has been the group dance together, she said, but added that she couldn’t pick her favorite dance move.

“I can’t decide — they’re all good,” she said.

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