Through the homeschool grapevine ~ we learned of Apple’s “Youth Camps” offered during the Summer. While it’s entirely possible employees told us when we purchased our iPads a year ago ~ it seemed like “news” when we heard it at the beginning of the Summer.
Not only are these camps free, but Apple does everything it can to ensure that you don’t have to spend a penny during the entire adventure. Granted, you leave
needing wanting all of the technology you haven’t already acquired in previous visits to the store ~ but you don’t have to own anything except for some type of recording device (digital camera, smart phone, etc.)
Overall, it was an incredibly positive experience and we would highly recommend it to anyone. Especially someone trying to determine if an Apple product will meet their expectations. The registration process online was smooth & simple. Someone from the store calls a week ahead of time to confirm that you’ll still be attending. The store opens early to accommodate camp with minimal distractions and full access to the various products used throughout the week.
We were the first to arrive at 8:30 Monday morning (it’s a bit of a drive & unsure of traffic at that time of day, Mom opted to allow plenty of time for travel). The store was open and the employees were ready for us. Boy & Girl each received a bag containing a T-shirt, ear buds, and a lanyard with their name tag on it. They were free to play on store iPads or Macs while waiting for the rest of the participants. The class began with an introduction to the employees leading and a basic overview of what would be covered each day. They then passed out a blank storyboard and encouraged the kids to think about what they wanted their films to be about. Mom was impressed with how encouraging the employees were and that the kids were given plenty of time to develop their stories. Each participant was then handed an iPad with Garage Band loaded onto it. After a short overview of the basic features, the kids were let loose to play, compose, record, & create to their hearts content. Once finished, an employee helped them save their compositions to the store’s computer. Boy & Girl were given homework to shoot their footage and told that the final film length would be approximately 2 minutes.
While Boy & Girl were crafting in Garage Band ~ Mom and the other parents were treated to an introduction of iMovie on the Mac. This program comes as an included feature on Macs. We were told that a simple version can be purchased as an iPad app ~ though we haven’t perused that option yet.
That afternoon, Girl came up with the wild idea that she wanted to finally finish the Cuddle Monster kit her Grandparents gave her to create the star of her film. So, Mom & Girl spent 3 hours designing & sewing. (who says technology doesn’t spur on other interests?) Boy was absolutely thrilled to have Dad record him playing around in one of his Minecraft worlds. Though, he took the “2 minute” time limit to heart as his limit of video. Due to editing options and features on iMovie, Mom would strongly encourage a few extra minutes of footage to play around with.
Learn more about Apple Camp adventures from our Day 2 post.