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Friday, October 4 • 10:15am - 11:05am
Teen Summer Camps: Challenging Traditional Programming for Teens

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Library camps provide us with opportunities to make meaningful connections with teens during the months when they are most difficult to reach. In previous years, teen program attendance was extremely low, reaching less than fifty teens. It was time to make a change. Cedar Rapids Public Library offered free teen camps for ages 12 to 18 at both of our library locations and offsite with residential facilities, providing access by removing barriers financially and physically. Focused on creativity, teamwork, and fun, our project based learning camps covered subjects from writing to making escape rooms. Each camp is unique in its theme, but the implementation is similar for each. Teamwork and social skills layered with fun activities and productivity allow for dual purpose learning. While exploring and designing, teens were also learning communication skills, cooperation, and problem solving techniques. Library camps allowed teens freedom to create and share. Teens left camp feeling accomplished and excited about their work. Librarians left knowing teens achieved more than a digital trophy.
This session will focus on our findings from the past three years, how the camps were created and how we’ve adapted. We will discuss ways to scale the camps to best fit in your libraries. During the session, we will look at team building exercises the campers went through and the collaborative processes put in place to encourage teamwork. You will have a chance to view completed projects from the teens, including their board games and escape rooms. We will discuss the benefits of immersive learning, with teens leading as innovators. It’s time for teen programs to be more responsive and uncover teens’ potential as creators, inventors, and collaborators. Challenge traditional summer programming for teens!

avatar for Molly Garrett

Molly Garrett

Librarian, Cedar Rapids Public Library
Molly Garrett is a Programming Librarian with the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Her work focuses on developing programs for young adults and performing outreach to area schools and youth centers.

Friday October 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:05am CDT
Fedora II