Media camp--14 teenagers learning about journalism for about 10 hours a day! And I was one of three camp instructors for the group this week. It was very busy, but also sometimes fun and funny and ultimately rewarding.
The teens arrived on Sunday night for an opening "get-acquainted" session. We gave them a tour of our department: computer lab, television studio, control room, radio studio, classrooms, etc. After snacks and a brief overview of what they could expect from the week, they were off to the dorms for a good night's sleep before a busy week began.
Monday we toured the Creative Services department on campus where all university-related publications are produced from idea to copy to design to sending the piece to be printed at the university printing division, which we toured in the afternoon. We also began planning for our camp newsletter, my primary responsibility for the week.
I taught several sessions through the week on basic journalistic writing: from getting a story idea to newsgathering and interviewing, from writing leads to organizing and developing stories. We finished up with some editing guidelines and writing headlines.
Monday evening two local reporters, former students of mine--one who now works at our local NBC affiliate and the other a reporter for the Greenville News--met with the students and talked about what it's like to be a reporter. Basic message of the night: be prepared for anything because journalism is a fast-paced, always changing profession.
Tuesday and Wednesday were TV days. The students learned how to do a live standup and practiced filling all the positions in the newsroom (anchor, sports, weather as well as all the technical positions like floor manager, camera person, teleprompter operator, audio, etc.) They did a final videotaped show on Wednesday evening.
Here's one of our campers videotaping another camper doing her live standup on Wednesday morning.
And here's one of the reporters, a girl who traveled all the way from Ecuador to attend media camp! Isn't she a cutie?
Wednesday also gave the campers a chance to try their hands (and voices) at radio drama. They got to portray a variety of roles in the very entertaining drama "Inside a Kid's Head." After the campers added sound effects and music, the drama debuted during our final session today when parents came to pick up their campers.
Other sessions included a visit to the university's film department where they saw a real movie set from the recently released Milltown Pride and visited the makeup department where they experimented with adding various cuts, bruises and black eyes to their fellow campers. We got some great photos of those. ;-)
Here's the set of the TV news show with some of the guys who filled the anchor, sports and weather positions: (this was their practice; for the real taping they had to wear their "anchor" clothes--suits and ties!)
Today the campers left--after viewing their finished television shows, listening to their radio dramas, searching for their bylines in the camp newsletter and watching the hilarious bloopers and outtakes that we'd collected all week during practice sessions. I enjoyed getting to know these young people. And it was fun trying to match the camper to his or her parents in today's closing session. We're hoping to see some of the campers in a few years as students in our department.