UH Moment

UH Moment: “Camp Hilton”

Summer camps carry the lore of canoe rides, camp fires and cabin roommates.  But high school summer camps can be introductions to university life.

The UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management is, for the first time, offering five summer camps for those intrigued by the hospitality industry.  Designed to whet their appetites, the camps bring students face-to-face with chefs and managers ofarea resorts, hotels and restaurants. In addition to valuable visits with industry professionals, students will create their own restaurant concepts.  

Danny Arocha, director of enrollment for the Hilton College“There will be five groups, five different restaurant concepts they’ll evaluate each design, and menu and site location,” said Danny Arocha, director of enrollment for the Hilton College and director of the summer camps.  “These opportunities gives them a little taste of what they expect here.” 

Fresh from these experiences, students eagerly share their new enthusiasm.

“Our team decided to do Asian and American fusion cuisine and our restaurant is called The Red Lounge,” announced the spokesperson of one team, whose menu reflected the diverse appeal of many Houston restaurants.  “One of our appetizer is pork and ginger pot stickers with an assortment of herbs and spices, like jerk spice, cilantro and ginger.  We also have a vegetarian option.”

The Hilton camps cultivate new students as it nurtures the veterans.  “Hilton Ambassadors,” current UH hospitality students, serve as camp counselors, on hand to discuss classes, professors and other aspects of university life.  

“We’re excited about the experiences these camps give the students,” Arocha said. “New programs work with alums and other industry partners.”   

One camp works with the Admiral Group and former NBA star David Robinson, with opportunities for valuable internships. Still another will create an aquaponic system at the college. Sixty percent of students who participated in Hilton college camps, come to UH for college.

The Conrad Hilton College is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.