Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Cook County Community Fund 2021 Grantee Profile – Boreal Community Media Technology Camps

Nov 11, 2021 03:36AM ● By Editor

Submitted photo

November 11, 2021

Boreal Community Media developed and hosted three technology camps this summer in Grand Marais to give local students a chance to develop skills and interest in technology and photography. In the first camps, participating students learned about computers, networks, wireless connectivity, coding, and then created their own movies and presented to the group.  

Boreal Community Media's Executive Director, Lisa Bauer stated that "We are so happy to once again bring these technology offerings to Cook County youth, along with our partners.  Because of the pandemic, we were not able to host camps last summer so we were happy to bring them back to the community.  We are grateful to the community and education minded organizations who awarded us grants that made this possible and removed financial barriers for local families".  

The camps were led by instructor Mike Wiens, who is the Director of Technology at Legacy Christian Academy in Andover, MN as well as an adjunct instructor at Hennepin Technical College.  Assisting Michael for the week was local Boreal technology guru/intern, Tristan Surbaugh.  

Some of the highlights of the camp are captured in the comments of participating kids:

Joao- "My favorite day was when we coded with Python!" 

Aanakwad- "I really liked when we took apart the computer and that Mike was fun to be around." 

Liam- "Learning Python was a really good experience. I want to design video games even more now. " 

Jack- "I liked when we made the movie because it was fun acting and editing!"

Lydia- "I really enjoyed editing with Photoshop. I liked editing heads on different bodies and then putting in cool backgrounds."

Garrett- "My favorite part of the week was working with Photoshop because you can be creative with the program and make ANYTHING."

The third technology camp was during the week of July 19th and was focused on teaching students about photography and videography and led by instructor Jaye White.   Jaye recapped the busy week below:

“Five campers joined me in downtown Grand Marais to learn photography and videography skills and how they can use these skills in both everyday and future professional careers.

We started the week learning about the very important "Exposure Triangle" to create unique and interesting photographs with an emphasis on being creative and thinking outside the box. We moved around downtown Grand Marais photographing flowers, bees, seagulls, a kite being flown near the Harbor, and various signs and building details. Campers learned to adjust their exposure settings to work best with moving objects, creative focus points, and other photography techniques.

On the second day of camp, campers learned to take some fun and creative portraits of one another, again by utilizing the techniques learned the day before.

The second half of the week was dedicated to film, and how photography and videography use many of the same techniques. We started by creating stop-motion videos which is how the first film was created. One camper created a beautiful hair-cut scene using LEGOs. Another used a posable art figure to do some yoga moves. A third created a battle scene between two LEGOs fighting over the fact that one of the LEGO men put the milk in the bowl before the cereal. And in a group collaboration effort, a bottle of mustard married a bottle of ketchup and had a beautiful reception!

The campers also learned the importance of continuity- how a storyline flows from scene to scene and how specific movements need to be mimicked from angle to angle. This practice proved beneficial, although not completely flawless in the creation of the final film.

For the final film, the group then collaborated to create a silent film utilizing the videography skills they had learned along with their continuity skills. Using the settings available to us- downtown Grand Marais- along with some personal interests shared amongst the group- a love for "The Avengers"- the final film was created.

Together, we edited the film which utilized multiple shots and angles for each scene and created the film we titled "The Mother". Check out the film below. For copyright reasons, the original music used in the film has been removed. To get the full feel for the film as intended you can mute the sound and play "The Avengers" theme in a loop (it will play through 2 times).”

These camps were made possible by the collaboration between Boreal Community Media, Cook County Higher Education, and North Point and the funding by the generous grants from Operation Round Up and the Cook County Community Foundation.  The Cook County Food Coop donated drinks and snacks for both weeks of camps.  

The mission of the Cook County Community Foundation (CCCF) is to enhance the quality of life in Cook County by empowering local non-profits through philanthropy, education and collaboration.

CCCF is an affiliate of the Duluth Superior Community Foundation and provides funding to qualified non-profits providing services to Cook County through an annual grant application and review process.

Donations to CCCF can be made by following this link to the on-line donor portal: 

Or by mailing a check to:

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
324 W. Superior St. Ste 700
Duluth, MN 55802

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here