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Teens go to unique Albuquerque summer camp

August 4, 2015

By Lysee Mitri 

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Not all summer camps for kids are about spending time outdoors. In fact, these days many are focused on preparing kids for college and their careers.

There is everything from law camp to robotics camp to coding camp, sometimes even offered to kids as young as five years old.

“I think the idea of summer camp has expanded quite a bit in the last couple of decades,” said Stephen Burd.

Burd is the director of the University of New Mexico’s GenCyber Summer Camp, a National Security Agency program focused on teaching teens about cyber security.

“We have learned a lot about steganography and cryptography, cracking passwords and learning how to defend people who are cracking passwords,” said summer camp participant Delaney Galligan, a 14-year-old about to start high school.

She is one of nearly 30 teens in the two-week camp. Galligan said it has been a great experience, learning new things and meeting new people.

She just met 14-year-old Jordan Noel last week and others are already confusing the two for sisters.

“When the people from the NSA came, they asked if we were twins,” Noel said. “It’s been really fun to meet new people.”

So, while it may not be your typical image of summer camp, the teens are enjoying it all the same.

“It is pretty awesome,” 16-year-old Connor Neal said. “We love doing this stuff.”

Friday is the last day of this year’s cyber security camp.

UNM is hoping to do it again next summer and bring in more high school students from all over the state.

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