This Is Carolina: Kids explore the need for speed in summer race camp

“They can’t get enough of it.”
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 8:29 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2023 at 10:04 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Dozens of kids were revved up for the Summer Race Camp at Palm Charter High School. They may be unable to touch the ground or see above the steering wheel, but the 4- to 11-year-olds are learning everything about cars.

“I really like welding. Welding is a lot of fun,” said Chassidy Gasque.

Gasque is one of the oldest and one of the girls. She loves cars and racing because it’s in her blood.

“I’m more boyish than I am girlish. My daddy, he actually races at Lake View and I’ve been going with him ever since I was little.”

It’s Chassidy’s third year at the camp and she looks forward to experiencing something new every year.

“You learn what they do in shop class and stuff. Like this is actually a high school so you kind of see what they do every week,” she said.

The one-day camp shows off the school’s four programs: welding, motorsports tech, auto collision, and digital arts and graphics. It’s a hands-on experience where kids take home what they’ve made like personal license plates, while also learning about what’s under the hood.

“Our charter is designed to produce that type of exposure for students and they’re eating it up. They can’t get enough of it,” said Avery Moore, Palm Charter High School Principal.

Moore created the camp eight years ago to provide children with a set of skills that could possibly turn into promising careers.

“I think it’s paramount for us to give that little 5-year-old an opportunity to get exposed to something that one day might turn into something,” he said.

We spoke with his three youngest campers who were fresh off of learning how to weld and how to be safe while doing it.

“We put on a helmet so we can see fireworks and it won’t get on our face, or in our eyes, and our nose and our mouth,” said Lily Ward.

The trio got very excited when they talked about the race car simulator. It’s a fan favorite, whether behind the wheel or rooting from the sidelines. The simulator was a quick pit stop before they ended the day with the real thing. The kids got to put their skills to the test by go-kart racing at Broadway Grand Prix.

An ultimate summer camp that the school said gives you an intimate glimpse of what it has to offer.

“It’s an idea to number one, let them be exposed to something that might generate an interest. Also, for parents to kind of see what we’re about and what we do and for the community to get connected to us,” said Moore.

“Definitely come!” said Chasity.

To learn more about Palm Charter High School and the programs that they offer, click here. If you have good news to share, email or message Loren on Facebook.