Why Had I Never Heard of Apple Camp Before?

Did you know that Apple retail stores offered a free movie making camp to kids ages 8 – 12 during the Summer??  Neither did I!  That is, until I saw a post about it in June on one of my favorite mommy blogs, Money Saving Mom.  I immediately clicked on the link in her post and was taken to a detailed description of the camp on Apple’s website.  I knew this was right up B’s alley.  Not only would he enjoy learning how to film, edit and add music to his own movies, it was free.  Something for both B and me.  :o)  I signed him right up for a Monday/Tuesday/Saturday session.

During attendance on day one of Apple Camp, the camp counselors took down shirt sizes and within a few minutes, each child had a free Apple Camp t-shirt.  On the front is a constellation of a clapperboard surrounded by musical note stars.  On the back are the words, “Make movie magic.”  They also received a lanyard and  “pass” with their name on it.  The kids watched an example of what they’ll learn to create in the camp then worked independently at their own station with an iPad and their headphones.  B was able to draw his movie’s storyboard and create his own score using Garage Band.  The counselors were very engaging with the kids and made learning fun.

While the kids learned how to make movies, we parents received our own Apple lesson.  Our counselor navigated us through the Accessibility options in Settings and answered questions/solved problems that we were having with any of our personal Apple products.  I learned a lot, myself.

Day one ended with a homework assignment – all kids needed to create approximately 2 – 5 minutes of film to bring into Day 2 of camp, where they would edit down to a movie of no more than 90 seconds.  B was armed with his storyboard and knew just what his movie was going to be about.  “The Epic Battle” was filmed outside later that afternoon, with the help of the boys from next store.  B calls them his, “little brothers from another mother”.  ;o)

Day two got off to a rocky start.  When we arrived, some of the campers form the previous session were still there, working on their projects, so B’s session did not exactly start on time.  Plus, the number of counselors was cut in half, due to customer assistance needs in the store.  There were a lot of kids who didn’t know what they were doing and patience was hard to come by with all that excitement and eagerness to start editing.  But the counselors made sure they instructed each child and the kids helped each other out, as well.  Everyone from B’s session was finished with their movie by the end of day two.

Day three of camp wasn’t until Saturday, “a whole four days away, Mom!” and B just knew it would never come.  Thankfully, he was able to pass some of that time by creating more movies at home.  We arrived at the Apple store Saturday around 8:45am, B wearing his camp shirt and lanyard, and were let in at 9am.  After the kids were seated around the viewing monitors and we parents were standing behind them, one of the counselor gave a short talk.  He said the employees had a great time with the kids and there were definitely some JJ Abrams and George Lucases among the campers.  I was surprised to hear that all the sessions at this Apple location had filled up in two days!  I will start scouring Apple’s website next year for registration info by June 1st to make sure B gets in again.  There is so much to do in iMovie and he was not able to absorb it all.  Another year of this camp will teach him even more.

Then, each kid was called up front to introduce their movie and we all watched.  These kids amazed me with their imaginations and what they were able to film in an afternoon.  After each movie, the creator was presented with a certificate of completion, four apple camp patches and the bracelet shown above which contains a thumb drive with his or her own movie on it!  B has worn it every day since camp and offers to show his movie to everyone who happens to have a device with a USB port on it.  LOL

Free Apple Camp gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up from this mom!

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