Recently I was browsing through Facebook and a post by my friend Liz Hart, an educator at State College of Beauty Culture in Wausau, WI, caught my eye. She posted “Hair Camp week is our craziest week of the year, but one of the funnest! Our students are amazing teaching all the skills they have learned. Any past grads out there remember Hair Camp week?”
Hair Camp! I couldn’t help but wonder what that was, so I caught up with Liz and asked her about it. For the past 12 years, every July, the school hosts a 1-week Hair Camp for grades 3 through 8 and a College Camp for Freshman through Seniors.
Hair Camp for the younger group focuses on how to take care of yourself and includes lessons on keeping nails clean and trimmed, how to get the shampoo out of your hair, how to blow dry, hygiene and self-confidence. College Camp focuses on the world of beauty and wellness as a career. They get to practice hands-on techniques and have guest speakers on what the industry is like.
Campers attend from 8:00am to 12:00pm for a week. Each day has a different theme, such as Sports Shirt Day, Glamour Day, or Twin Day. There is a lesson, activity and snack time. At the end of the day each camper gets their hair styled by a current student. Campers receive a mannequin head, t-shirt and goodie bag full of fun things such as combs, brushes, products, etc., some of which is donated by area salons. They pay $100 per person to cover expenses. The school’s current students create the lesson, design the activity and then present the lesson to the campers. The week ends with a fashion show. Students are divided into groups and a theme is chosen. Students work together to create hair, makeup and wardrobe/costume. Parents are then invited to attend to see what the students have learned.
I love this concept for a number of reasons. First, they are providing a service to their community by offering a means for children to come in and learn about image and to better their self-esteem. Second, the current students get a taste of leadership, hosting events and have an opportunity to share what they have learned with the campers. Finally, this is a great recruiting tool. Liz shared that they have had multiple Hair Camp students who enrolled in school after they completed High School. Additionally, with the current students providing the lessons for the campers, they have identified a few future educators for the school. That is what I call a WIN WIN WIN event!
What types of community activities do you do at your school?
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.