Monthly Archives: August 2012

Apple Camp ~ Day 3

For more on our experiences with Apple Camp, please see Day 1 and Day 2.

Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comProbably the most exciting thing about Day 3 for Boy & Girl was the fact that Dad was able to join us.  We could smell the popcorn before we even entered the store.  Staff had set up a projector and there was a giant screen covering the Genius Bar.

After everyone settled in with their popcorn, we sat down to watch some incredibly creative productions.  The staff had strung them together into a single showing that included their names introducing their films.  Boy and Girl were delighted to see their names across the screen.  Dad & Mom were impressed by the wide variety of topics and effects used by all the kids. Some of them had an excellent sense of humor.Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

After the showing, each child was called up and handed a certificate showing they completed the class.  Dad & Mom were blown away by what Boy & Girl received ~ not only in “goodies”, but in experience, knowledge, and encouragement.  We could not have been more impressed with the staff.  We would strongly encourage anyone with children aged 8-12 to consider Apple Camp.

Categories: August, Elementary, Field Trips, Free, July, June, Middle School | 1 Comment

Apple Camp ~ Day 2

Check out the 1st post in this series explaining signing up for Apple Camp as well as our experiences on the first day.Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

We arrived on Day 2, iPads in hand with footage of monsters & Minecraft.  Our leader gave an overview to the students of iMovie.  We then headed to the Macs to upload our footage.  The store had increased the staff ratio to assist with this, but it did take a little additional time for those with non-Apple products to move their footage onto the Macs.

Girl basically left her footage intact and just created an opening & closing scene.  Boy enjoyed the opportunity to add the music he created utilizing Garage Band as well as editing the footage with special effects.  Mom was impressed with how well the staff worked with the kids and encouraged them throughout the process.  They also gave the kids plenty of time to be creative and work through all their options.

Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comWhile they were editing, another staff member gave the parents a demonstration on the “Parental Controls” for the Macs.  Mom was quite impressed with all the options available: restrictions can be placed on length of time, time of day, websites, activities, etc.

The day closed with every child being given their finished iMovie on a flash drive wristband.  Boy & Girl thought this was a fabulous bonus.  We were invited to return on Saturday for a showing of all the movies.

Click here to see Day 3 where Boy & Girl show off their creations.

Categories: August, Elementary, Field Trips, Free, July, June, Middle School | 2 Comments

Apple Camp ~ Day 1

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.

Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comNot 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.Apple Camp ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

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.

Categories: August, Elementary, Field Trips, Free, July, June, Middle School | 2 Comments

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