June 19th, 2013
I’m going to do weekly/bi-weekly updates on on my Teen SRP is going. While I technically started May 1st, the programming and chaos didn’t start until June.
Week 5 (June 2nd – 8th)
Participant Total: 308
Programs (links to write-ups): Anime Club, Stop Motion Lab, & Mock the Movie
Summer Programming Total: 33
Week 6 (June 9th- 15th)
Participant Total: 382
Programs (links to write-ups): Level Up (canceled @ both locations), Improve (canceled), & Pirates vs. Ninjas
Summer Programming Total: 48
June 19th, 2013
When: June 14th, 5:00 – 6:00pm
How many teens: 12
Cost/Supplies: approx $2
- Water Balloons (2 packs/200 balloons) $2
- Bug Spray; our field is near a forest preserve so we get a lot of mosquitos
- Flags; I use 2 squares of brightly colored felt
I have to admit the prep time for this one was a bit time consuming It took two volunteers and me around an hour to fill about 150 balloons. I was very lucky that we were able to get a rhythm down very fast as this could have taken us much longer. I had one teen turning on and off the hose and the other taking turns making the water balloons. I used a large trash can on wheels to hold them; I added water in the trash can as we went to help the balloons to not break.
The run-down for this can vary depending on what you want to play. We divided into Team Ninjas and Team Pirates and decided to do the water balloons first. I put the trash can in the middle of the two teams and let them go. While they were mainly attacking the other teams, this one is a bit a free for all. Sadly, it did not last as long as I had hoped. Mainly, because one of the teens not decided to pull the trash can into the grass causing it to tip over and the balloons to break. (5-10 mins)
Next we played captured the flag. We play the basic rules of hide the flag, find the flag, bring the flag to Andrea without being tagged to win. If they are tagged, I didn’t make them sit out the whole game. Instead, I told them to count to 30 and then go back in. I did have to tell a couple count slowly, but most did fine with this rule. We also played that if you had the flag and your tagged then you drop it there and doesn’t have to be taken back to the start point. Of course, no camping and no putting the flag where it would involve climbing trees. I had a couple of sneaky teens who would stand still behind trees until their enemies passed as a way to get deeper into territory. A great strategy that paid off for his team. (20 – 25 mins)
The last game we did was tag. The first round we played infectious tag aka when you’re tagged instead of being out you are also “it”. The game continues until all players are the taggers. Round two was good old normal tag. Once they were tagged they were out and either talked on the sidelines are got something to drink. (20 – 25 mins)
After tag, we really only had about 5 – 10 mins left so I let the teens hang out and just talk. By then they were getting tired and needed a nice sit and drinks. Several of them came over and we discussed Doctor Who and our thoughts on last season and our theories for the new Doctor. (I have TONS of Whovians so this is something we do often!) Parents started to arrive early so the timing working out quite nicely.
Remind teens that they cannot move the trash can full of water balloons, even if it is on wheels. Honestly, I didn’t think I needed to say this, but losing 75+ water balloons taught me otherwise!
While I liked having the trash can on wheels for ease of movement, it may have been nicer to have a bin of water balloons on each side. This would have cut down slightly on the chaos and may have made the balloons last longer.
Move part if it indoors. Since I’m running this event after hours now, I could theoretically move the even inside for part of it. It would stop them from getting too hot and allow a wider range of games to be played since there are better barriers/hiding spots in the library.
I really need to expand this beyond just tag, capture the flag, & water balloons. I thought the hour would help on the lulls we’d hit in the past, but we still had a good 10 -15 mins where no games was actually being played. I think next year I’ll explore other games that could be played with pool noodles and bean bags.
I forgot to take pictures this year, so these are from a couple years ago. I thought they gave a good idea of how our field is/the space we’re using. If I think about it, I’ll try to take a panoramic one later this week.
June 18th, 2013
When: June 6th, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Resources: Interactive Script; teens, staff (pdf, shared w/permission from Sarah)
How many teens: 15
Cost/Supplies: approx $60
- MuVChat Session; $35
- Props for the interactive script; $20 for glowsticks, swifter sheets, & water bottle but you will also need bubbles, rubber/toy snakes, & a fan.
- Snacks; $4 for water. I already had popcorn and bowls from a previous program.
I’ve tried a couple of teen movie nights in the past, but they’ve basically flopped. In fact, out of the three that I’ve held in the past year only 1 hasn’t been canceled. I had heard about MuvChat before and thought it would be something fun to try that would be enough to bring in the teens. My only concern was for those who didn’t have phones. So, when my friend Sarah told me about the interactive script she used for the Labyrinth, I quickly asked if I could borrow the script. The two elements together offered what I hoped would be the perfect event.
As the teens came in, I told them what to grab for the table: a script copy, glowsticks, swifters, and bubbles. I also told them to grab some popcorn and water if they would like. I explained what MuVChat was and how to join/participate; this is as simple as sending a text to a number with a keyword to join and then send texts to the number after that. I did have them send a few test texts so they could see how it worked.
Once the movie started, I played along with the kids. Giving them hints when they were supposed to be saying things and doing actions that only my script had. I tried to keep my props hidden, but that was easier said than done. A couple did ask questions, but I just played the you’ll see card.
Overall, the teens sent almost 200 texts in the 2 hours. It was fun to hear how talkative the teens were after the movie about the event. I asked if they would like to do this again and got a resounding yes. I have to tweak a couple of things, but it looks like this event will be repeated this fall with a different movie. (Have a suggestion for the movie? I’m all ears!)
The interactive script didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I should have sat down and rewatched the movie to see where all the “actions” appeared. It had been so long since I had watched them that I missed half the cues myself!
As for my end of things with the script, I was too far away to hit most of them with the water or snakes. I should have positioned myself better. Also, I took a few items out as they didn’t work as well for me. Had I been more towards the front, my additions would have worked much nicer.
The MuVChat was favorite part. Next time I plan to have a couple of iPod touches available for those who don’t have cell phones.
My teens are almost too chatty for this period. Granted it was about the movie, but it made it hard for other to hear. I tried to remind them that if they had something to say they should text it, but the response usually was I’M NOT FAST ENOUGH. I’ll try to come up with solutions for this one, but I’m not positive I will be able to.
June 14th, 2013
When: June 5th, 6:00 – 8:00pm
How many teens: 2
Cost/supplies: Varies! I have a lot of money spent in stop motion supplies; mainly because I will be using them for my after-school grant this fall. So, this is one that could be really cheap or really expensive. Even if you go expensive the thing to remember is it’s a one time expense; while I spent over $500 for initial costs, my per session cost is only $35 at most.
Here is what I used
- iPads (I have 5 at each building bought w/various grants)
- iPad tripod; I bought the Grifti one that included case, ball joint, and tripod for $45. These are extremely solid and easy to use. Also, it looks like the price has dropped to $40
- iMotion App; $9.99. There are several other apps you could choose from, but so far this has been my favorite. However, we will probably try out some others as this continues.
- Funko Figurines; average is $8 per figure. I have 12 at the moment, but will probably buy more later
- LEGO minifigures set (approx $50) & Lego Bricks ($30)
While I only had 2 teens, we decided to still do the program, especially since the teens mainly working alone. Each teen was able to use an iPad to make individual projects. I spent maybe the first 5 minutes explaining stop motion and showing them how to use the app. After that I emptied out the box of props and let them be as creative as they wanted. While I helped them expand on their ideas, I never told them they had to do anything in particular. Honestly, it was fun to watch them work/create; should we grow I may have to make them work in teams & talk the ideas out, but I’ll cross that bridge as it comes.
- Normally, doing a program with only two teens is hard, but this one worked nicely. Seeing how much fun they had was a good reminder that high numbers don’t always matter. I loved how proud they were of what they created and how excited they were to show it off to their parents. That alone made it worthwhile.
- I may look into adding some light boxes in the future. You can see in the videos how the lightning changed from each shot. I’ll see if this repeats next month. If so, I’ll start grabbing the lights from our media studio to make the lighting more even.
- Lots of props is good. The Funko’s are nice, but they don’t have limb movement which restricts how they can be used a little. I already bought some modeling clay we can use, but I may also look into more movable action figures as well.
- The more frames the better! It takes anywhere from 10 – 24 shots to make up one second! We slowed ours down a bit, but they’re still not very long and you can tell they’re a tiny bit jumpy. Tiny movement works best. It may seem painstaking, but it’ll give the video a smoother look.
June 6th, 2013
When: June 4th, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Resources: http://thedecoratedcookie.com/2010/10/mini-marshmallow-japanese-inspired-candy & Japanese Mini Marshmallow instructions (pdf, shared w/permission from Sarah)
How many teens: 16
Cost: approx $40. This included the fondant (2 lbs), edible markers, marshmallows, & rolling pins. We already had plastic baggies, spoons, food coloring, & plastic tablecloths on hand.
Anime Club is a monthly event. When I first started I tried to just watch anime, but as we grew I quickly realized that would impossible. I’ve found the kids like to come to talk; and while the anime is often playing in the background, they don’t really pay attention to it. So, about a year I started adding a craft component, which gives the teens something to do while allowing them to chat.
This month, we decided to do candy sushi. It was relatively easy and there is virtually no prep time. Since I bought the tub of fondant, I just had the teens pass it around and pull off a piece. I could have done this for them beforehand, but it really didn’t take up much time having them do it. After that, the pieces were dropped into the plastic baggies and added a few drops of food coloring. Using the bag, the teens mixed the food coloring into the fondant. While this helps protect the hands from being dyed, I noticed a lot of teens didn’t care and just used their hands. Next, roll out the fondant and cut off a piece to wrap around the mini-marshmallow. Wrap it and decorate and viola candy sushi!
- Had this been a normal program, an hour would have been plenty. By then the teens were finished and moved to just talking, watching the anime, and sketching. (My anime teens LOVE to sketch)
- Having a kitchen/sink helps! My teens didn’t mind using their bare hands to mix the fondant and food coloring because they could use the sink to wash off the food coloring right away. I don’t think any of them left w/coloring on their hands.
- Our fondant kept getting too warm/sticky. I’m not sure if it was because it’s summer and it was heating up more quickly or what. I was tempted to put it in the fridge a bit before the program, but I wasn’t sure if that would make it too hard. It may be something worth trying with a sample piece, especially if done during the warmer months.
- I skipped the wax paper, but I’m not sure if that was a good idea. The fondant kept sticking to the rolling pin, which wax paper may have helped with. In our case, we found that the spoons & hands flatten it better than the rolling pins did. I’m really not sure if this was because our fondant was too soft/sticky, but if I do this again I’ll will most likely skip the rolling pins.
- Overall, this was a fun project and most likely one I’ll bring back to Anime Club in the future.