Have you ever asked a high school girl, "what are you doing this summer?" Did you expect her to answer "a little welding, little electrical work and perhaps a chance to meet my future employer?"

I bet not, but that is exactly what the female high school students who will be attending the Decatur-Morgan County Summer Welding and Electrical Technology, (SWeETy) Camp will do this summer. This unique summer camp will give these young women an opportunity to have hands-on experience in welding and electrical technology.

They will meet ladies who are experiencing very rewarding careers in these and other non-traditional fields of study that are commonly found in the many manufacturing facilities in Decatur, Morgan County and our surrounding areas.

This camp is also a wonderful opportunity for young women who are interested in a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) industries to explore the possibilities. SWeETy Camp opens the minds of young women to new opportunities and opens doors that they would not normally be allowed to walk through.

As part of the camp they will be invited into local companies to tour, meet people and ask questions. These are the people that will one day be vying for their services as welders, electricians, and engineers just to name a few.

In addition to the hands-on experience, these young women will make new friends and build relationships that last much longer than the week-long camp.

And one last item I need to be sure and mention: these young ladies will have fun!

Sheila Davis is a quality systems specialist for United Launch Alliance in Decatur, former board chair for the Chamber and developer of the SWeETy Camp program when it was first implemented in 2006.