Youth Summer Camps
Every summer, Northwest Film Forum offers camps for youth to get hands-on with the art and craft of film and media making and to develop their creativity and voice.
Update: Summer Youth Filmmaking Programs will be offered online this year!
We know that “Stay at Home” is difficult for parents and youth alike. Northwest Film Forum’s motto is “Make Films, Make Friends and Make Change” — and we still want our filmmaking camps to provide youth with opportunities to do just that.
We will still offer the camps currently listed below, during the same weeks, but they’ll look and be priced somewhat differently. General registration for new students will re-open soon!
Taking best practices from K-12 education moving online, our newly imagined summer camps will feature shorter class times, smaller class sizes, live meetings with engaged teaching artists, custom-crafted video tutorials, and at-home projects which encourage off-screen exploration. Depending on the activity and student preference, additional materials may also be available for printing or via mail.
An overview of how camps will work:
- All camps will be limited to small groups of 4-8 students, and will be half-day experiences including a group video meeting, filmmaking project, and on-on-one support. Camps will be offered on a sliding scale of $75 to $175.
- Campers can also sign up for “Level Up” sessions of their camps to extend their engagement with camp topics, at their own pace after regular “camp hours,” with additional bonus activities and tutorials. “Level Up” camp sessions are also offered on a sliding scale of $75 to $175.
- Campers can also join a weekly film club throughout the summer to forge deeper connections between others who love film. These clubs will be grouped for 8-12 year-olds and 13-17 year-olds and include discussions of films and a time for youth to talk about their own filmmaking activities. The cost to sign up for film clubs will be sliding scale, $0 to $100.
We will soon update our individual camp pages to fully reflect the all the changes. We welcome your questions, of course, and have tried to anticipate some in the FAQ section below.
We’re excited about this new model and the new tools we have designed to inspire young creators, help them connect, and provide a fun learning experience. We hope your children will still join us for some much-needed camaraderie.
Summer Camp FAQ
In case your plans change, here is our policy on camp refunds:
- We realize even with online camps, plans can shift suddenly due to COVID-19. If you need to cancel due to COVID-19, please contact us for a full refund.
- 100% refund if we receive your cancellation notice 7 calendar days before the first day of camp.
- Camps must meet a minimum enrollment requirement to launch, and may be cancelled if the camp does not meet a minimum number of enrolled students. Students will be notified in advance if there is limited enrollment for a camp, and can receive a full refund, which may take up to 30 business days to process and transfer.
Students will need a computer or mobile device with internet access to attend camps and view project materials. Each camp will list details about what technology, apps, software, and materials are recommended for the camp. We will be working to make activities as cross-platform and device compatible as possible since students have access to a wide array of technology. Instructors and staff will be available to help your and your child determine the best option available for the camp.
Current registrants will have first priority to keep their enrollment in an online camp. All camps are subject to minimum enrollments to run, and if the camp is canceled a full refund will be provided. If you would like to transfer your child’s registration to the online camp model, which includes the online camp, a “Level Up” camp, and Film Club. Refunds are also available should you decide you do not prefer an online camp format. If your child is interested in only some of the online offerings, we can transfer the registration to those and accept the camp tuition as a donation, or we can provide a full refund and then have you re-enroll in the activity of your choice. Please reply and let us know your preference by June 5th.
Summer is approaching fast, and while we don’t know what phase of re-opening we’ll be in throughout the summer, we think it is unlikely to be safe to hold camps in person through August. We also believe there are inherent challenges to safety in film camps, even with mask-wearing, handwashing and physical distancing. Challenges we foresee include teachers suddenly unable to teach, students suddenly unable to attend, and the time needed to properly clean spaces and filmmaking equipment. Moreover, we are still learning new things about the novel coronavirus and its impact on young people. We decided to shift to a plan we know we can deliver, instead of waiting till restrictions are lifted to decide if camps can be held in person. Making this shift now means we can devote time to developing great online camps, and that we’ll be able to provide film education regardless of each student’s ability to attend in person.
Parents and families are welcome to join in the creative process, but we are creating lessons and activities designed to foster student’s imaginations, love for creation, project management and goal setting skills. We are champions of youth ingenuity and imagination, and fully believe that with skills, healthy habits, and great examples children of all ages can pilot their own detailed projects. We hope you’ll join us in enthusiastically viewing and supporting their dreams, process, and projects. And if you want, who knows, this could be your big acting break!
Some content will change since we can’t provide the access to professional filmmaking gear and our space. Lessons will pivot to learning more pre-production concepts, production through free apps available on mobile devices, and post production via free or trial based platforms. Access to a computer or laptop will be helpful, but lessons will be designed to be able to be completed with a phone or tablet.