This summer at Galileo Summer Quest, campers will get hands-on experience producing, shooting, and editing their own videos in our YouTube Producers major. For a whole week, kids will push their creativity to the limits while making everything from tutorial videos to parodies to screencasting, and even a viral challenge video.

Read on to find out what’s in store for rising 5th – 8th graders in this major, plus a Q&A with YouTube Producers curriculum developer Heather Murphy as she shares her expertise and what makes this major so special.


A Peek At The Week



Campers hit the ground running on the first day of camp. They’ll quickly learn the techniques behind shot framing—considering things like background lighting and location scouting-—to help them create standout videos throughout the week. Once they have the basics down, they’re introduced to iMovie and walk through a tutorial on editing videos with that program. At the end of the day, campers are tasked with creating a viral challenge video (remember the ice bucket challenge?) and get in groups to review and offer suggestions to help one another improve their videos.


The second day of camp is all about DIY-style tutorial videos. We’ve seen campers create everything from “how to pull off a sweet dance move” to “how to make your own fidget spinner.”

The first skill of the day is learning about shot angles and types—think close-up, medium, and long shots—and how they add special dimensions and feelings to a video. For example, did you know that low-angle shots can make a scene feel more dramatic? Armed with their new knowledge about how to capture awesome shots, they transition into practicing scriptwriting, which they’ll need for the next day’s project.



The middle of the week is here before you can blink, and Wednesday is easily the day that gets the most laughs. Campers can bring props from home to create their very own parody videos. Some memorable projects from past summers have been videos such as “Harry Potter in Real Life” and news-style broadcasts with plenty of intentional bloopers.

Beyond the side-splitting laughs, campers will also practice the skills they’ll have learned about lighting and audio. First, a lighting challenge sees teams of campers creating combinations of lights for their own horror, western, or sci-fi scenes. Then campers explore audio techniques like adding voiceover, reducing background noise, and locating perfect royalty-free music.



Thursday is all about shooting screencasts, aka on-screen analysis or reaction videos that capture video from the computer screen. Campers will explore “OBS”—or Open Broadcast Software—which the pros use to make these types of videos.

Later in the day, campers let their imaginations run wild as they tackle their screencasts. It might be a gaming video where campers are playing a game and discussing it on-screen in real time, or maybe it’s a personal review of their favorite music video or cartoon show. The possibilities are endless. In post-production, campers create special effects in iMovie and the learn best practices for designing custom thumbnails for their own YouTube channels.



The last day of camp is intentionally open-ended. Campers have the choice of finishing a video project they started earlier in the week, reshooting a scene they wanted to improve, or filming another project using what they learned throughout the week. No matter what they choose, campers will continue to build their mastery of one or two (or more!) of the skills they’ve explored so far.

Finally, campers will put the finishing touches on their YouTube channel presentation. They’ll learn how to monetize their videos, read analytics, and make their channel stand out through banner design and page icons.


Heather Murphy is the mastermind behind our YouTube Producers curriculum. We caught up with Heather to hear her take on one of our most popular majors at Galileo Summer Quest.

Q: What do you love the most about the YouTube Producers major?

A: This is a major that has wide potential. I love watching our campers learn how to start sharing their own unique voice and express their creativity to the world. It’s a program that has big impact, too. With something as wide and far-reaching as the Internet, the skills that go into creating effective YouTube videos can literally reach people all over the globe.


Q: What are you most excited for YouTube Producers campers to tackle this summer?  

A: I’m stoked to watch the process of seeing kids throw out the craziest ideas, then come to the realization of not knowing exactly how they’ll pull them off, and finally come up with the finished product.

In terms of specific days, Parody Wednesday is my favorite day for sure (laughs). Humor has a way of bringing people together and we see a lot of friendships being forged that day.


Q: It sounds like this major calls upon kids to try a lot of new things. What’s something that you think will be challenging for campers, and also really fun?

A: Many kids love watching YouTube videos but aren’t aware of the patience and detail that go into making a great video. It can be really challenging and trying at times to nail the perfect shot or pull off an awesome edit, but the process is extremely rewarding in the end. Kids leave our program with a greater appreciation of the media they’re consuming and interacting with on a regular basis.


Q: Let’s talk GIA (The Galileo Innovation Approach). How do we see it at work in this major?

This major provides opportunities at every turn to practice all aspects of the Innovator’s Mindset: be visionary, be courageous, be collaborative, be determined, and be reflective.



Before they start shooting, kids have to brainstorm what they want to create. They’ll think of things that haven’t been done, or might not exist yet. They’re encouraged to be creative and unique.



When working in small groups, it can often be difficult for kids to speak up and take control of the set while communicating their own vision for the video. It takes a lot of courage to advocate for your own voice and ideas too. Putting yourself out there on camera to the world while overcoming fear develops a powerful mindset that anything is possible.



There’s a really cool team dynamic at play in our program. Kids are constantly providing positive, constructive feedback to take each other’s video projects to the next level. It’s really awesome to watch kids collaborate with each other in an encouraging way.



When things don’t go as planned or get too complicated, we encourage our campers to stick with it! Many times, a shot might not come out as you thought it would, but in order for kids to make the best video possible, it takes determination to get there.



So much reflection goes into a great video project! Let’s start with the editing process… you definitely have to go back and watch it again and again. Each time you watch your video, you might notice something that you didn’t notice before. There are ALWAYS things you can improve in your project. We encourage our kids to think about the message they’re putting out to the world and how their voice can impact others.



YouTube Producers will be on full display at Galileo Summer Quest, and we can’t wait for rising 5th – 8th graders to dive in. If you’re interested in learning more about our upcoming summer camps in your area, click the button below to find a location near you.