Inspire: A Summer Creative Camp for High School Students

By Emily Horne

Jillian Coorey and Gretchen Rinnert, both Assistant Professors in the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD), have developed a summer creative camp called Inspire that will take place this summer. The day camp is for students who have completed their freshman year of high school, are between the ages of 14 and 19, and have an interest in design, photography, illustration, and creative thinking. There is no requirement of previous experience, transcripts, or a portfolio to attend this program.

Gretchen Rinnert

Taking place the last week in July from Monday through Friday, this camp will provide students with an overview of graphic design disciplines such as 2-D print, 3-D print, image making, motion, and interaction. With covering a different discipline each day, Coorey said they want to keep each session fresh and exciting for the students.

The idea for this camp has been in the making since 2009 when Rinnert began planning it with a former faculty member, but since this past summer, the planning has been in full swing. Coorey and Rinnert have high hopes for the success of this program. With only a handful of similar design camps in the country and nothing similar in the area, the directors hope this camp will become an annual event, eventually turning into an overnight camp with multiple sessions in order to reach out to more than just the local community.

Not only will students in attendance be able to either add to their portfolios or begin creating one, they will also be able to learn about careers in the field.

“So many students come to college and change majors,” Rinnert said, “the earlier students can learn about programs, it’s such an advantage for them.”

Jillian Coorey

Coorey added that the camp will act as both an introduction to the field and serve as a college experience for the students.

“Some people don’t understand the impact that graphic design has,” she said. “The term ‘design’ is an umbrella for so many things.” Rinnert added that the term design is “so overused.”

In addition to the knowledge students will gain, Coorey and Rinnert want to begin creating a community that involves high school students and VCD students and faculty. Helping with the camp is “a great tool for our grad students” as they will lend a hand during the workshops, said Coorey.

For more information on camp details, how to donate or sponsor students, or to register for the program, high school students should download an application on inspirecamp.com. Applications are due March 1, 2012 and are on a first-come first-served basis.

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