July 11, 2011
When my mom first told me that she had signed me up for a two-day camp at the College of Charleston, I was not excited. It was summer and I was enjoying sleeping until noon, lounging on the sofa, watching TV and eating ice cream. Then my mom told me it was a technology camp, and that made me even less excited. That sounded too much like school. Who wants to go to school in the summer?
Boy was I wrong. It turns out Best Buy’s Geek Squad Summer Academy was a great way to meet some new friends, hang out on a college campus, and really taught me some cool things to do with the computer. They really kept us moving from activity to activity, so we were never bored.
The camp had about 125 elementary, middle, and high school girls from all parts of Charleston. At registration, we got a free Geek Squad t-shirt, which we had to wear during camp, a nametag that actually had a built-in flash drive around the lanyard, and a bright orange Geek Squad backpack.
At orientation, Lonnie Emard, the executive director of IT-oLogy spoke to us. They, along with the College of Charleston, were sponsors of the camp. Then the Agents came in. Best Buy’s Geek Squad Agents volunteered their time for this camp. Our agents were from far-away places like California, Michigan and a few were from Beaufort, S.C. When they yelled, “Agents!” we yelled, “Geek Squad!” Then they would yell louder and louder.
I was in the group “LOL Cats” for 12 year olds. I didn’t know anyone the first day of camp, but once we got checked in, I met two girls from John’s Island. One of them nicknamed me “Scottie.” They were “Bob” and “John Lee.” We hung out together and now we are friends.
The campus was super nice! It was in the middle of Charleston so everything was pretty much close together. The buildings were very clean and comfortable also. And when the clock hit 12:00, we got to each lunch each day!
We learned a lot at camp, but learning was fun. They had Apple computers for all of us to use. We had relay races to learn about all the pieces to a computer. We learned how to use Garage Band. And they taught us how to record and edit in front of a green screen. And they even taught us how to make movies!
I think my favorite part of camp was making movies! I have an Apple computer at home so I already knew the basics of how to make movies. What I didn’t know was how to do green screen, reverse effect, or really just how to put everything together. I loved everything else we did too, but movies were definitely my favorite!
When I got home from camp, I wanted to try out some of the things I learned so I hung a green blanket on the wall and had my mom video tape me running and pretending to swim. Then I was able to edit the video so it looked like I was running up a mountain or swimming under water. I also had my mom video tape me throwing a napkin onto the floor. Then on the computer, I could reverse it so it looked like it was “magically” jumping back into my hand.
Charleston was one of 23 cities across the United States to have a Geek Squad Summer Academy. The Geek Squad teams up with local non-profit organizations to run the camps. In Charleston, they partnered with Junior Girls Day Out. Kathy Jackson is the executive director, and she was the one who kept the camp running so smoothly. And what a great job she did!
I would tell all girls that technology is fun. Once you know about the technology, you can be creative and make movies, edit pictures and come up with your own music. I really hope they come back to Charleston so I can do it again next year!