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Yorktown BOCES Camp Teaches and Entertains

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Apron-clad student-chefs watched with glazed eyes at Chef Stanley Rupinski dipped and dipped and sprinkled Bavarian crème doughnuts.

“I wanted to share my knowledge with young students,” said Rupinski. “I make it fun so they can enjoy it. Once they get into it, they love it.”

The culinary arts class is just one of 18 different, four-week summer programs offered at the Tech Center for students ages 12 through 15. Other classes include carpentry, fashion design, law enforcement, masonry, TV production and digital film.

Rupinski has taught the program since it began three years ago and said he loves the opportunity to teach the students recipes.

Rupinski said through the various weeks he teachers Culinary 101 & 102 and Baking 101 & 102, which covers how to cook anything from “pub grub” such as buffalo wings, or pastas and sauces.

Students Laura Napolitano and Sara Lapadula took turns filling their doughnuts, made from scratch, and filling them with their own Bavarian crème.

“It’s fun,” said Lapadula. “I like cooking and learning how to cook. I might make them at home.”

The classroom next to the kitchen was quite a different scene. These students had fabric and sewing machines instead of mixing bowls and spatulas.

Best friends Scarlett Neggers and Kelsey Sperring enrolled in the fashion class taught by Lisa Tobin because of a hobby they already do during the summer.

“We always sew at my house and design things, so I said if I could bring my friend Scarlett I would do it,” Sperring said.

In Sergeant Tom Houlahan’s camp on law enforcement, he combined his two interests - teaching and being a police officer to create a fun program for the students.

After meeting K-9 dogs, watching a PowerPoint on witness testimonials, learning how to properly handcuff someone and playing “knight stick” softball, it was hard for the students and “Sarge” to pinpoint what their favorite part of the program had been.

“He actually has real experience being a police officer so that makes it cooler,” said student Ryan Calore.

Like the other teachers who are experts in their field, Houlahan is a retired New York City and Mamaroneck police officer.

“I always liked teaching and when I could retire I wanted to do it,” Houlahan said. He started teaching at the BOCES school and then started at the camp.

Angel Morales said the class taught him that police work isn’t exactly like what you see on television.

“It’s much, much harder work,” he said. “We really learned about cops and what they do, more than I knew before.”

What hobbies do your children participate in during the summer? Have they attended this camp?

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