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Tilt Film Camp Teaches Media Literacy

May 23, 2012

Tilt Summer Film Camp is a great place for kids to learn the ins and outs of the filming industry. Not every child will be director, and this camp realizes that with its intensive sessions on everything from filming to final editing. Recently spoke to Robyn Bykofsky about Tilt’s summer programs, and what families can expect to get out of it!

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and how you started the camp

A:  I have been actively involved with TILT at Ninth Street Independent Film Center (participating in its first teacher-training workshop in December of 1999, instructing several of dozens of media literacy/video production workshops, developing curriculum, consulting with the design of TILT’s new website, and now taking on the role of the Youth Media Manager).  Throughout the year TILT partners with community-based organizations.  TILT has been teaching young people media literacy through hands-on video production for over 15 years. TILT’s Summer Film Camp is a newer program, celebrating its 5th year last summer

Q: Are there any special lessons or experiences you are trying to provide during the camp?

A: TILT, the Youth Program of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, teaches young people the fundamentals of movie making and media literacy through hands-on training in video production. TILT programs empower young people to tell their own stories, to work collaboratively, and to become lifelong learners.  Our summer program allows teens to gain exceptional experience in an intimate setting, with professional filmmakers and educators. Teens have gone on to win awards, with work screened at film festivals, and enter top university film programs such as NYU, UCLA, and USC.

Q: What surprises/delights the kids (or parents) most about your camp?

A: TILT Summer Film Camp is more than video production training – teens learn to become critical consumers and producers of media. TILT programming delivers specialized lesson plans, expert instruction, experienced staff, and inspired collaborative projects that support a holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: Some quotes from parents whose kids have been to the camp:

  • [My son]felt a deep sense of accomplishment and was proud of his work that he did. Learning the basics of the editing program, working collaboratively on shoots and overcoming fears such as being in front of a camera were powerful life lessons.
  • The staff was great, very supportive, intuitive and able to help kids with the normal stumbling blocks of doing a first production.  Hey, I graduated from the Motion Picture and Television School at UCLA and I was really impressed to see that students completed such great work in three weeks.  A great camp!
  • After a few short weeks they fired her up to such an extent she started making Films and never stopped.  Becoming a Director or a Cinematographer is her dream.
  • Tilt’s summer film camp was an excellent opportunity for my fourteen-year-old son to explore his interest in filmmaking. He learned the process of video production and was able to showcase his work in a professional setting with a screening and participated in a Q & A panel. I was struck by the quality of work and use of technique in the students’ short films and the commitment of the instructors. In addition there was a great sense of camaraderie amongst the students who collaborated on projects together and supported each other in their own individual films from acting to helping with the film shoot.
  • It helped to boost his self-esteem and find a way to project his voice and deepen his understanding of filmmaking.  With the experience he gained at Tilt he now continues to pursue his interest in digital media. Thanks to Tilt for providing a platform for youth to create and be heard.
  • My daughter, Linden Bengtson,[attends] the Tisch undergraduate film school at NYU this fall.  I want to thank you for all the incredible support and guidance you provided her during and after her TILT summers.

Summer Camps: Teen Edition

May 18, 2012

As any mom knows, once the teen years hit, it can be really difficult to find something your kid finds enjoyable. And, if you’re a teen reading this, come on you know it’s true! Either yourself or your friends have well-earned your reputation as sullen and disinterested on more than one occasion – and sitting around a campfire singing songs and making friendship bracelets? Sure. You would totally go for that.

While traditional summer camps may not be what you have in mind for yourself or your child this year, the good news is there are plenty of high school camp options out there that teens DO enjoy, and return to for all four years.  No matter what your interests or goals after high school, these camps can help you accelerate your skill set, or even just plain have fun and relax before people will expect you to get a job!

TILT Summer Film Camp is geared toward aspiring movie makers, aged 13-18. With only three weeks, you will learn a heck of a lot about video production, which is why the staff refers to it as a “boot camp.” Get ready to collaborate in small groups, take on real-life industry roles and attend a special screening of your final product.

Golden State Lacrosse Academy is ideal for teens that enjoy the sport but don’t want to commit an entire summer to it. With their weekend camp, you enjoy an intensive training and review, picking up some great tips and tricks along the way to improve your game.  If soccer is your game, and you ARE looking to get away from it all, check out Two Rivers Soccer Camp. This overnight camp lasts for about a week and picks up campers in San Francisco.

Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club is another way to get involved with sports over the summer with minimal commitment.  While the camps themselves are geared toward younger campers, teens aged 13-17 can enjoy the camp experience volunteering as a counselor-in-training.

ArtWorks Summer Workshops and Art Camps are ideal for those aged 9 to 16, and give you a chance to be re-inspired within an art discipline you love, or provide you with the opportunity to try something new. Class options include cartooning, drawing exploration, mixed media sculpting and more.

Academic Chess may be considered “dorky” at your school, which gives you the perfect reason to get away from the usual opinions and spend a summer loving the board game with likeminded teens. Outside of just playing chess, campers can take yoga, gymnastics or theatre, and participate in Friday tournaments that come with pizza and trophies. Ages 6-18 welcome.  For those that love computers, iD Tech can round out your summer after you’ve played some great chess games. From gaming to visual arts, there is a week devoted to what you love about technology.

Roughing It Day Camps will give all city kids a chance to experience the great outdoors. The nature adventures include canoeing, kayaking, sports, crafts, and various teambuilding activities in the wilderness. Students are picked up at various bay area spots including San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Lamorinda and San Ramon, and are transported to Lafayette Reservoir for camp.

Paresh Martial Arts Day Camp will provide teens with fitness and agility with their many Tang Soo Do sessions. This traditional Korean karate will change your life and your outlook. One week sessions available through the spring and summer months.

Japanese Theatre Arts Summer Conservatory is a sanctuary for those who love the performing arts but crave something different. Learning about Japanese history through the theatre should do the trick, as teens are invited to adopt a character and learn everything from Japanese song and dance to staging techniques. “Kids” as old as 22 may attend.

Tutor Corps is the answer to enrichment programs that parents desire for their teens over the summer, but don’t have a lot of time or money to spend. Yes, teens reading this know that academics aren’t exactly the ideal summer vacation, but when you get into a good college – you can thank your mom AND your summer camp teachers.  Convent & Stuart Hall Co-Ed Summer Program is another great resource, designed for kids entering grades 7-12. It’s a diverse array of students from all over the bay that normally would not cross paths, giving campers time to not only enrich their minds, but their social life as well.

Education Unlimited focuses on both the practical and artistic sides of the camper, with activities including creative writing, computers, science, acting and video production. It takes place each summer on college campuses, including local Stanford and Berkeley. Finally, the Eureka Tutoring Center Summer School can help those through 11th grade get a leg up on their next report card. From basic math skills to difficult geometry theorems, students learn in the morning and have fun with field trips and creative games & sports in the afternoon.

If you are close to a young overachiever who excels in school, but also cares equally as much about their social life, then SuperCamp may make up a great part of your summer. Here students learn life skills to help them manage their time, improve their friendships (and relationship with you, parents!), and also gives them plenty of academic strategies to make your bright star shine even brighter.

Cooking up Some Summer Fun

May 17, 2012

Many children are naturally artistic, though this may not necessarily mean with a paintbrush and easel. Outside of the visual and performing arts opportunities out there, culinary arts are taken quite seriously during the summer months all across the country. Aspiring chefs can try their hand at cooking, baking and creating edible masterpieces they’ll be proud of.

Children’s Culinary Creations in Los Altos Hills is run by Chef Sharon, who takes the time to patiently teach not only hands-on cooking, but also independence, self-reliance and other life skills essential for any future career.

Cucina Bambini in San Jose takes a cue from its name with an Italian cooking course for kids aged 6-10. Other opportunities over the summer include Cupcake and Cake Pop Craze, Lil’ Chefs Go to the Circus and much more! Hours and ages vary per session.

Over in Pennsylvania, Lavner Camps features a wide repertoire of enrichment courses, including Culinary Arts and similarly so does Penn Charter Summer Camps. These Philadephia area camps are great because they embrace a more traditional camp schedule, inspiring children to experience a diverse array of activities. Young chefs may develop in such an environment that is low pressure and intentionally only covers the basics.

Back in the Bay Area, Osher Marin JCC Camp Kehillah teaches children of all faiths a variety of activities including cake decorating and cooking. For around $300 per week, your child will also learn the fundamentals of Jewish culture and go on various nature adventures.

Camp Doodles focuses on a variety of interests including cooking, and older kids are able to take stove-top cooking classes as well as the more basic things youngsters learn at the San Francisco, San Rafael or Mill Valley locations. Similarly, Celsius and Beyond offers one-week rotating themes throughout the summer, including International Top Chef which teaches children the method and chemistry behind the various cooking techniques found around the world. If you’re in the San Francisco area, the Exploratorium also offers cooking-themed summer activities, as does the San Francisco Friends School Summer Camp.

Many summer camps also offer one-week isolated sessions focusing on a single cooking or baking method. Baking with Design, a session held through Upper Main Line YMCA in Pennsylvania, teaches children how to bake various sweet treats from scratch, as well as the art of decorating them.

Kids on Campus at Bucks County Community College also teaches children aged 10-13 the basics of kitchen careers with Kid Kuisine I. This week focuses on proper hygiene, safe food handling and both cooking & baking principles. They then are broken off into teams where they get to create their own dishes. Later the summer, rejoin Kinds on Campus for IncredIble, Edible Experiments and Kitchen Magic! Where kids learn how science works in the home everywhere from the sink’s soap dish to the ice cream they love to eat during the summer months.

Cooking camps are the way to go wherever you live if you are looking to teach your child some independence and a basic life skillset. It can also be a lot of fun and inspire them to dig deeper into a newfound hobby once school starts back up again.

Kids Look Forward to Learning with DaVinci Day Camp

May 11, 2012

When it comes to summertime, many parents worry that their child will regress in terms of their education. Whether he/she struggles academically, or simply does not retain information well, then an educational enrichment camp may be an ideal way to spend the summer. Kids will love the fun activities, while you appreciate the boost of learning they’ll receive.

Chris Waage, of the DaVinci Day Camp in the bay area recently chatted with SignUpForCamp to share with us a bit more about the camp that enriches, enlightens and engages children each summer.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and how you started the camp.

A: For the last 20 years we have been known for providing quality academic summer programs for grades 4-12 at Universities here in California as well as Boston. The one thing that was missing from our program was a community focused camp that served younger grade groups. Our goal to offer great programs that all age groups could benefit from was completed with DaVinci Day Camp for K-5th grade campers. DaVinci Day Camp brought together our organizations long standing values of immersive academic learning and more traditional recreational day camp.

Q: Are there any special lessons or experiences you are trying to provide during the camp?

A: Camps choose from 8 different themes workshops that fall into either public speaking, creative writing, or science and engineering. The lessons are taught through constant hands-on experiences that provide a variety of different approaches to reach each child’s different learning style.

Q: What surprises/delights the kids (or parents) most about your camp?

A: When parents and kids here “academic day camp” they are very surprised to find that camp resembles an artists workshop much more than a stuff classroom.

Campers lose themselves in the engaging activities so much that they forget that they are learning important skills that will be used for years to come.

To sign up for DaVinci Day Camp, choose a location and session that best suits your child, and prepare to see them beyond inspired during their school break.

There are   some other  community focused camps that  are  in Bay area like  Osher Marin JCC Camp at San Rafael,Camp Mandarin Immersion at Berkeley and Camp Carden at San Jose .

Camps to Help the Right-Brained Child Thrive!

May 10, 2012

Children who are right-brained tend to be artistic, emotional and full of life. While this can be either a blessing or a curse to a parent depending upon the particular circumstance, most parents revel in watching their youngster express their inherent creativity and colorful imagination. As the school year begins to wind down and a blank calendar just waiting to be filled with summer fun looms, there are plenty of camps available to kids who thrive in an environment that calls upon them to be a performer, artist or anything else that places them happily center stage!

Young At Art – South Bay kids who love to express themselves through visual art will adore the summer schedule at Cupertino’s Young at Art. Focuses include acrylic painting, Arts of the Silk Road, Portrait drawing, and even fashion & jewelry design. Best of all, that just covers a portion of June – there are many more opportunities to learn everything from paper crafting to comic book design with Young at Art.

Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) – For kids local to the Mountain View area, CSMA features over 50 specialized summer camps for those aged 5-20. CSMA camp can truly become an annual tradition in your family – especially since your youngest child will receive 10% off of every camp they enroll in. From Bugs & Butterflies to advanced cello classes, there is truly something for everyone.

Drama Kids Summer Camp – Children who can’t help but “act up” when the weather warms, this Texas summer camp chain invites them to come learn theatrical techniques including improve, dialogue development and plenty of games for the stage! Enjoy $25 off the second session, and watch your child indulge in special events like dress-up days.

Kids ‘N Dance ‘N Theater Arts: Theater or Dance – Back over in California, kids in Lafayette will experience the magic of dance through a 1-week program that includes costume and prop design, and plenty of story dances to learn and perform.  Little Musical Theater is geared toward 4-9 year olds, while Musical Theater is geared toward 1st-8th graders who are more serious about the craft. A secondary location is in Oakland.

The other  camp that is worth mentioning is  Sticky Art Lab at Berkeley which offers  a quite unique approach in teaching arts to children.Be sure to check out.

These are just a few of the great creative camps in the area for your little thespian, artist or musician. The sky’s the limit this summer for kids who love to fill their days with art and new friendships.

Atherton Lacrosse Teaches Love for the Sport.

May 9, 2012

Lacrosse continues to grow in popularity as a sport that many youth continue through college and beyond. A summer camp focusing on the improvement of one’s game and overall athletic skills is a great way to get a head start for those next team tryouts. In the Pennisula, Atherton Lacrosse gets kids prepared and ready for their time on the competitive field. We recently chatted with Josh Rottman of Atherton Lacrosse, who was able to give us an inside look at this camp’s goals and program.

Q: What is the most important lesson you want your students to come away with?

A: The most important thing we hope to instill in our players is a lasting love for this sport. For the coaches at Atherton, we’ve been playing this sport for a long time because we’ve come to love playing it. We hope that our camps and free clinics are the beginning of that passion for our players.

Q: What would you suggest parents do to prepare their kids for camp?

A: We would suggest familiarizing your player with what lacrosse looks like. Have them look at a Youtube video of a game, or bring them out to a youth or high school game in their area. The better they understand what they’re trying to achieve, the more likely they’ll have success.

Q: What are some of the favorite parts of camp for the kids?

A: The younger kids really enjoy a game we play called Sharks and Minnows. The players act as the minnows, running from sideline to sideline while cradling the ball. The coaches act as the sharks, trying to get them to drop the ball. If they drop it, they become seaweed and act as obstacles for the remaining players.

Atherton Lacrosse Camp has locations all throughout the region, so your child can improve their lacrosse game or experience this unique sport for the first time, wherever they are located.