Summer Camp Guide: For Creative Types

Summer @ the Lab – Jacob Burns Film Center

Pleasantville (914) 773-7663;

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The next Scorcsese or Tarantino may just get his or her start this summer, making their first short film at the Jacob Burns Film Center’s Media Arts Lab. Young cinephiles get the chance to explore a different aspect of filmmaking and create something new each day through a series of hands-on workshops that run the gamut from digital storytelling to short films, scriptwriting, lighting for film, sound recording, and animation, among others. In its popular teen summer co-op, campers work collaboratively to pitch, script, shoot, and edit an original narrative short. Small groups, special guest instructors, and a chance to use the Lab’s screening room, sound stage, recording studio, and animation studio make this a perfect fit for aspiring moviemakers. 

Ages: Entering grades three to 12  Dates: Three-week sessions from June 29 to Aug 14 (M-F, 9 am-4 pm) Fees: $950-$2,200 per session (discounted rate of $855-$1,980 available for Jacob Burns members) Transportation: No

Writopia Lab Summer Camp 

Locations in Hartsdale, Katonah, and Larchmont (914) 401-4159;

Has life in Westchester given your child enough material to complete his or her first short story, script, or memoir? Send them to Writopia Lab’s summer program, where campers work with published professional writers—including novelists, playwrights, poets, and journalists—to create an original written work. Campers can choose to write a short story, memoir, poem, play, graphic novel, or essay. With a mission of fostering joy, literacy, and critical thinking through creative writing, the summer camp equally serves avid, casual, and reluctant young writers. Budding authors can choose half-day (three hours a day) or full-day workshops; and a sleep-away camp offers a week or more of focused writing, fun, and games in a traditional camp setting. 

Ages: 7 to 18 Dates: Weekly sessions from June 15 to Aug 21 (Half-day sessions: 9:30 am-12:30 pm, 1:30-4:30 pm, 5:30-8:30 pm; Full-day: 9 am-4:30 pm) Fees: $500 per week (sliding scale available) Transportation: No

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Mike Risko Music Rock Band Camp

Ossining (914) 762-8757;

Got a kid who plays air guitar in the bedroom all the time? Let him or her experience the real thing at Mike Risko Music Rock Band Camp. Musicians are placed in bands with other kids in their age range and skill level and are then paired with a band manager (one of the school’s trained instructors) to work on writing original music and learning cover songs. They name their band, create a signature image, and design a poster in preparation for a rock concert on the last day of camp. (Last year, the traffic-stopping event in the school’s parking lot attracted 300 fans.) For 2014, the camp has added contemporary vocal training—singers immerse themselves in vocal lessons and learn about vocal performance. 

Ages: 7 to 17 Dates: Week-long sessions full day: Aug 24-28 (10 am-4 pm); Half-day: weeks of July 6 and July 13 (M-F, 10 am-1 pm) Fees: Full-day: $575 per week; Half-day: $295 per week Transportation: No

Summer @ The Lab

Circus Camp

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Circus Camp at Westchester Circus Arts Center

Tarrytown (914) 275-5711;

Ever dream of running away to the circus? Kids today don’t have to—they can try it out for the summer, right here in Westchester. In its new, circus-tent-like space at the YMCA Tappan Hill, Circus Camp includes daring daily activities like juggling, balancing, tumbling, dancing, acrobatics, aerial instruction, wire-walking, and clowning. Staff members hail from professional troupes like the Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil, so kids learn what circus life is really like. Each day, campers perform mini-shows to demonstrate what they have learned, and have the chance to show off their circus skills at the end-of-session extravaganza for parents and friends. 

Ages: 5 to 18  Dates: Two-week sessions from June 29 to Aug 7 (M-F, 9 am-4 pm) Fees: $1,150 for 2 weeks, $3,000 for 6 weeks (Waitlist-only after April 1; call for availability) Transportation: No

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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