2017 Camp Sessions (2018 Camp Sessions will be released in January)


Start your media footprint
Launch your own blog in this quick-start session. It’s the first step toward packaging your media story about the week. You’ll soon be on your way to creating daily posts to share with family and friends. Your blog will automatically enter our contest for Best Blog of the Week. Julian Parrott

Scavenger hunt
This way to the Quad! Work in teams with smartphones to explore the Illinois campus and its myths and mysteries. Then add those photos and videos to your blog.


KEYNOTE: The big picture
How is covering sports different than covering entertainment? Or politics? Or business? Is it all about the game? The event? The press conference? The great seats? The free food? You might be surprised. Come join us, and you’ll get a glimpse into the world that awaits you — and how to prepare for it. Mike Bass

What’s now and next?
This overview shows you how advertising, journalism, media studies and social media fit together in sports and entertainment media. We’ll inspire you with some examples of those who do it best and how. CL Cole

HOT TOPIC: Fake news
How did this mess get started? Learn how to spot fake news and sponsored content in this interactive session. See what lengths social media, the news media, politicians and brands will go to convince you of their version of “the truth”. Nancy Benson and Ash Miller


Get smart about the fasting growing trend in media. More than 57 million people are hooked on podcasts, with listenership up 75% in five years. What makes a good podcast and how can you start one of your own? Lisa Bralts and Brian Moline.

On air and on deadline
Think TV broadcasting is for you? Practice reading copy from teleprompters and learning how to sit behind the anchor desk and read to the camera. Walk away with a professional on-air clip. Ken Erdey and John Paul

Documentary film production
Learn the life cycle of the documentary process, from funding to productions to distribution. You’ll find out about everything that goes into long-form storytelling. Illinois Public Media’s John Lindsay, a Peabody and Emmy award winner, knows what it takes to turn your idea into reality.

MINGLE: A producer at Fighting Illini Productions (FIP), the video unit of Illini athletics, will be on hand to share how to get hands on sports video production experience. They’ll explain the skills you want to learn in college and jobs you can get following this career path.

How to watch a movie
Wait. What just happened? Talking’s definitely allowed in this interactive session where you’ll deconstruct a classic movie, developing a keen eye for spotting everything from geopolitics to product placement. You’ll learn how cinema and media shapes impressions of social issues from an expert in James Bond movies. Julian Parrott


Movie reviews
If you like film, then you more than likely have opinions about what you see. And while the explosion of the internet makes it easy for anyone to set up a movie review website, this hardly qualifies them as a professional film critic. News-Gazette film critic Chuck Koplinski will explain what goes into a good critique and share the sort of knowledge you should have at your disposal to be a professional movie critic.


Unleash your creativity and visual artistry through photography. Composition, capturing awesome moments, and learning the secrets of great photography will be revealed. Discover how to take meaningful photos.  You’ll get your afternoon photography assignment now. Choose between working with a camera or your smart phone. Brian Johnson

Drones 101
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – drones — offer a whole range of new opportunities to take media into the vertical dimension. We’ll talk about drones as media platforms and as sports and entertainment themselves. You’ll learn about different kinds of drones, drone laws, and what goes into flying a drone. Mike Bohlmann

GoPro 101
You will learn the basics of videography and how GoPro cameras are changing the way we capture movement and action. We will discuss GoPro as an established brand that partners with surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, and even base jumpers in wingsuits and what that means for fan engagement, advertising, and consumer culture. Dora Valkanova

Photography lab
Cover an event photographically. Shoot Overall, Medium and Closeup pictures that show Action, Interaction and Reaction. Tell a story. Remember that it’s not the camera you are holding but your vision and understanding of the event that will make great pictures. Answer the question: Why am I taking these pictures and why will my audience be interested in seeing them? Brian Johnson

Drone lab
Follow your instructor into the blue skies and become part of the action of a drone video. Mike Bohlmann


The big interview
This session will help you prepare for your interviews with Illini tennis coach Brad Dancer or WCIA news anchor and UI journalism alumna Jennifer Roscoe. You’ll learn how to research for an interview, what types of questions are good and bad, the importance of being a good listener and how to get new, fresh information out of your interview. Nancy Benson, Jean McDonald and John Paul

PR: The invisible hand
Learn how celebrities and sports stars manage their reputations. How do they build their brand, get people to listen and manage a crisis when they find themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons? Steve Raquel


Sports play-by-play
Sportswriter and Illini play-by-play announcer Brian Barnhart will share some behind-the-scenes experiences and day-to-day duties involved in being the “Voice of the Illini”. He’ll show examples of score sheets and prep methods and play a few audio excerpts before opening it up for a Q&A.

Behind the scenes: Ebertfest
Get a glimpse behind the scenes of what it takes to produce an internationally renowned film festival.  You will learn the full process from concept to execution to wrap-up.  Discover how to successfully manage everyone from VIP guests to sponsors. We’ll even offer a few tips on how to start your own film festival. Casey Ludwig


The big interview – Gets real
Based on your track, you’ll interview an Illini coach or local celebrity.


The pitch
This session will help you better understand how to package and pitch your ideas, whatever they might be. We’ll cover presentation basics, audiences, bringing ideas to life, getting support and answering questions. Steve Hall

Social media analytics
Discover how to unlock insights from social media platforms and illustrate them visually. Learn how to spot compelling patterns and irregularities. And, learn how much brands, companies and people already know about you from your digital footprint. Utku Pamuksuz

The coming age of mixed reality
This session will introduce campers to a new world of mixed reality, in which the real and virtual spaces and objects co-exist. Students will learn about the virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technologies, and how they will change the media industries. Mike Yao


Augmented reality in action
Create your own Augmented Reality experience through the Aurasma app. Nancy Benson

Photography/blog contest
Polish up your daily blog posts, including new elements you’ve created throughout the week. Enter the Best Blog Contest by 5 PM.


Storytelling with data
Many stories are now told with data, especially through its visualization. This session will show examples of story-telling with data and include a discussion of the ideas on how to do that well. If time permits, we will do a simple, fast example of how to use data visualization to begin the telling of a story. Brant Houston

The royal brand
The British Royal Family is one of the most visible, enduring and popular “human brands” in the world – but how is it managed? You will discuss the touchpoints of this brand, how it engages consumers, and how it resembles, and differs from, other celebrity brands. Cele Otnes

All about you
It’s never too early to start making your mark on the world. Learn how to raise your profile and what gets the attention of admissions directors. Get tips on everything from how to write internship and shadow day requests that get noticed to how to package your interests, experiences and accomplishments. And, how to tackle those essays. Jessica Hogue and Megan Tucker Zwilling

What’s next?
Bringing what you’ve learned back to the classroom. Lisa Wells

Awards ceremony & parent lunch
Julian Parrott