The BND Summer Media Camp teaches and trains 16 middle and high school students about the news industry to encourage them to pursue journalism as college majors and as careers. The first two-week camp in June 2018 was hosted in a cramped and overly warm church room located in Richmond, Virginia’s south side. A church van, that can best be described as “worn and torn,” was our transportation for field trips to an urban garden, a television station, a newspaper, and a major public relations and marketing firm.
Despite that first summer camp’s sometimes challenging facilities and equipment, students still tell us how much they enjoyed the two-week program in which they met numerous local and national news media professionals who taught them the value of reading, writing and news literacy. Students were even more proud to create articles, podcasts and photography that were uploaded to a website and local news. In addition, a local television news station stopped by to capture their efforts.
Since that first media camp, the BND Institute has hosted two additional camps in 2019 and a virtual camp (due to the COVID pandemic) in 2020. And one year ago, Mikayla, who was a participant in our first media camp, told us that upon graduation from a Chesterfield County, Virginia high school that she plans to study journalism at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia! That is so exciting and we could not be more proud of Mikayla who just completed her freshman year of college!! Yay, Mikayla!!
The BND Institute of Media and Culture’s Summer Media Camp has had an incredible journey over the past three years, and we look forward to continuing this important work in 2021 with a renewed focus on food deserts in Richmond and surrounding communities! Stay tuned for details about this year’s Summer Media Camp!