PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Friday was graduation day at Port Arthur's "Camp Seaport" where students spent the last five days learning all about the maritime industry and the career opportunities it offers.
It's been a week of 'hands on' learning for these students and they are leaving the program with a greater understanding of the career paths the maritime industry offers.
"It went by fast, much faster than I anticipated. It feels like this week just went by like that," said Ryan Kirk.
For these students it has been five days of learning the Port of Port Arthur inside and out from taking tours, to playing with robots.
Kirk says it's an experience he won't forget.
"Being able to venture out and see all of these working people in their lives shows you the broader horizons about the world itself." Kirk said. "I just find it really interesting."
But all of the fun can lead to a bright future.
Industry leaders like Port Commissioner Linda Spears say the lessons campers learned at the port can translate to job opportunities.
Spears started the camp more than a decade ago.
"Maritime is unknown to many communities, especially minority communities. So there are many opportunities that are available," Spears said. "But we have to inform the students on them, so they can make an informed positive decision when they are in the 12th grade."
A week of all of the fun and learning culminated on Friday when campers graduated from the program.
"It's very hands on you get to learn a lot, and the things you didn't know about. You get to get a feel about it, and because you get to touch and do it yourself," said Lynnetra Taylor.
For some of the campers there's a second phase to camp seaport where a select few graduates will be continuing to learn more.
"Everybody doesn't get to go to phase two, but some of them will go to phase two and those who attend, they know that there is a possibility they will receive a scholarship," Spears said.
Those lucky students haven't been selected yet, but they some of their tasks in the next phase will be designing and building their own boat.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.