Hennepin Technical College and the St. Paul Fire Department will offer a hands-on camp for teens.

It's the second time the college has offered the camp, funded through a grant, but it's the first in St. Paul.

The camp is intended to help teens explore their interest in firefighting through hands-on exercises, develop a pipeline of local talent, and recruit minorities.

"It's going to be a blast," said Bernie Vrona, the college's fire training coordinator, who dreamed up the camp.

What: Firefighters' Challenge Career Camp

Students will fight real fires, including a car fire, from a safe distance. They also will learn about forcible entry, survival, firehose operations, and search and rescue.

St. Paul firefighters and emergency medical technicians will talk about their jobs, pay and education.

Where: St. Paul Fire Training Site, 1683 Energy Park Dr., St. Paul. The site is a few blocks off high-use bus stops on N. Snelling Avenue, Vrona said.

When: The camp runs June 20-23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Free snacks and lunch will be provided.

How: To apply, fill out a form at: www.startribune. com/a483. Or contact Vrona at 952-995-1329 or bernie.vrona@hennepintech.edu.

Applicants must be high school students or recent graduates. Vrona said about 15 spots are still available.

The camp costs $25 per person, but financial aid is available, and some students are attending at no cost. Contact Vrona for financial aid information. Parental permission is required.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib