Are you wondering what to do with your elementary- or secondary-school son or daughter this summer? A popular solution is to send them to a summer camp where they can learn skills, meet new friends, and possibly ignite a passion that will remain with them for their entire lives. Below, you can read about eight options in a variety of areas.
Teenagers can pursue their passions in a wide range of summer camps offered at Langara. There are one- to two-week programs in photography, digital-music production, filmmaking, theatre and film for First Nations, graphic novels and manga, coding and game design, and journalism.
They can also try their hand at sports reporting. It’s a great way for a secondary student to see if they’re suited for full-time programs, which are known for their close interaction with people working in the industry. And it sure beats sitting on the beach doing nothing but getting a sunburn.
The camps are offered in July and early August. For more information, visit the Langara website.
Vancouver Film School Summer Intensives
The film-industry bible Variety recently included VFS on its annual list of stellar film schools around the world. It was the only Canadian institution to achieve this, thanks to its 13 full-time programs and highly regarded industry-mentorship programs.
From July 4 to August 10, it will be possible to enroll in one-week intensive sessions in creative media production in a variety of areas, including acting for film and television, film production, animation and visual effects, game design, and introduction to film, animation, and design.
Discounts are available for those who take two or more intensives. They’re open to applicants 16 years or older with intermediate-level English. For more information, visit the Vancouver Film School website.
Centre for Digital Media
Since it was founded a decade ago, the Vancouver-based Centre for Digital Media has been on the forefront of a technological revolution that is transforming many industries, including banking, transportation, construction, energy production, and health care.
From July 10 to 21, it’s offering a two-week intensive summer boot camp for teens with a keen interest in art or technology. The Tomorrow’s Master of Digital Media program is open to those entering grades 9 to 12, and it’s ideal for students who want to explore educational and career opportunities in video games and other digital-media industries.
They learn how to make a game by the end of the first day with GameMaker. In the second week, they’re placed on small teams and devise a problem that they hope to solve with digital technology.
For more information, visit the Centre for Digital Media website.
Dragon Zone Paddling Club
Dragon-boat racing has been taking place in the Pearl River delta in southern China for more than 2,000 years, and over the past three decades it has also become a Vancouver tradition.
The Dragon Zone Paddling Club has taken more than 20,000 children on the water, and this summer, starting on July 3, it is holding a five-day summer camp for kids between the ages of eight and 12.
Parents can drop their children off (at 8:30 a.m. at the Olympic Village and pick them up from 3:30 to 4 p.m.) feeling secure in the knowledge that staff are all first-aid certified and have gone through the national coaching certification program. The kids will learn paddling mechanics with standup paddleboards, dragon boats, sprint canoes, and kayaks.
There’s also a nine-week flatwater group training for youths between the ages of 12 and 18, also starting on July 3.
For more information, visit the Dragon Zone website.
Wired Music Labs
Skrillex and Deadmau5 had to start somewhere. So what’s stopping anyone else from learning how to make electronic music? Wired’s kids summer workshops are open to those 12 and older.
Best of all, they’re open to those without experience and without equipment. Who knows? It could transform a youth’s life, particularly if it launches him or her on a path that leads to a lucrative career.
But even if there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they’ll still have fun learning the craft. The camps will be held from July 17 to 21 and July 24 to 28. For more information, visit the Wired Music website.
The next generation of soccer players will have an opportunity to learn more about the beautiful game this summer. Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club is running several summer youth camps across the country, and there’s a lot to choose from in the Lower Mainland.
In Vancouver alone, three types of camps for all ages and skill levels will be running in eight locations between July and August. Boys and girls will have the chance to not only learn the basics from players and training staff but also how to elevate their game and get noticed.
Participants take home a shirt and a club poster. For more information, visit the Vancouver Whitecaps website.
Jericho Sailing Centre
Kids as young as five can learn about water safety and sailing in one of the many summer camps hosted by the Jericho Sailing Centre in Vancouver.
Starting in June, the centre will be offering a variety of camps for all ages.
There’s one for children between eight and 10 who are interested in canoeing. There’s another camp to teach kids from nine to 14 about sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
For more information, visit the Jericho Sailing Centre website.
Luminous Elephant Studios
You hear a lot these days about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a.k.a. STEM, to the future of the Canadian economy.
It's possible to give children and youths an extra push in these areas through Luminous Elephant Studio's Science Wizards - S.T.E.M. Curriculum summer camp.
Kids of different ages, who can explore such areas as growing bacteria in petri dishes, Arduino microprocessors, and using bioluminescence to create living drawings.
Luminous Elephant Studios also offers summer camps for children and youths in other areas, including movie-making, beginners photography, the art of drawing, drama, and ukelele playing.
For more information, visit the Luminous Elephant Studios website.