At Your Service: UH Hilton College Serves Up Summer Camp

Annual program focuses on UH, Houston hospitality opportunities

Summer camp used to mean pitching a tent and making s'mores, but for 30 students coming to camp at the University of Houston, it means cooking with an executive chef, research and trips to Minute Maid Park.

The Summer Hospitality Industry Camp at the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management brings together high school students from across and outside the state for three days of learning, doing and touring. Students will explore the possibilities of the hospitality industry, Houston as a venue and UH as a starting point. The UH Hilton College is consistently ranked in the top two of hospitality colleges in the country.

The camp is planned for June 23-25 on the UH campus.

"This is an ideal way to show students not only our exceptional college, but also our exceptional city," said Danny Arocha, camp director and director of enrollment for the college. "It's a total package to show students interested in the hospitality industry where their ambitions can take them in the nation's fourth-largest city."

Participants will tour venues such as Minute Maid Park and the Hilton Americas Hotel, where they will hear from professionals about how to accommodate guests. Students will be the guests of the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) when they visit with vendors during their annual TRA convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Before the field trips, students will be introduced to the college's extensive library where they'll research five aspects of the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, cruises, casinos and country clubs) with guidance from experts in those areas.

"We want this to be a well-rounded experience for the students," Arocha said. "After learning about the industry from research and first-hand accounts, students will head into the kitchen to cook, plate and serve dinner-all under the guidance of our executive chef Abbas Jaffari."

A party at the campus bowling alley and a Houston Astros game also will be on the itinerary.

The camp has become a successful recruiting tool. Last year, half of the participants enrolled and attended UH for their freshman year. This year, three of the camp mentors will be former campers.

"To me, that is a tremendous commentary, and we are hoping to build on our success," Arocha said.

For more information on the UH Summer Hospitality Industry Camp, visit

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.