Have Your Kids Participated in a FREE Apple Camp? Check Out My Sidekicks Experience
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
Have your kids participated in Apple Camp?
Last month, I eagerly signed my 10 and 12-year-old boys up for a FREE 3-day “Creating Characters and Composing Music” workshop to take place at our local Apple Retail Store in Austin, TX. The boys participated in the camp for the first time last week and were really excited about going to the Apple Store to “play” on these Apple devices and possibly learning a few new things they didn’t know about.
If you haven’t heard of Apple Camp, it is a FREE workshop that is held at the Apple Retail Store each summer for kids ages 8-12. Spots fill up SO quickly every year, so you have to act fast to get in on one.
Sooo… my boys arrived at Apple Camp the first day really excited to learn something new…and I was hoping to venture over to Starbucks to sip on an Iced Skinny Caramel Macchiatto for an hour-and-a-half while reclining in one of their lounge chairs, reading a book and listening to elevator music.
WELL, that didn’t happen… what was I thinking?
Unfortunately, parents are not allowed to leave the Apple Store during the duration of the workshop – even if Starbucks is right next door. Instead, parents are asked to sit at a table for 90 minutes on bar stools that are harder than hard and listen to an employee talk about various security features of the iPad and iPhone and/or answer any questions that parents may have. I could have really used a coffee.
The first day, the kids spent the entire time drawing on an iPad Pro using the FREE Sketches app and an Apple Pencil. My 12-year-old son is an avid artist and had previously purchased the Procreate app for his iPad ($5.99 on iTunes) and used it many times, so he felt the Sketches app was a bit inferior.
The second day, the boys learned how to make music using the updated GarageBand app. If you have a child who has never really explored with the GarageBand app on an iPad before, this would be a great workshop for them! However, my 10-year-old son is pretty savvy when it comes to making and editing YouTube videos with music, so he felt like the material wasn’t really new information.
The last day was spent making their storyboard drawings come to life with music in GarageBand. Although the GarageBand app offers different musical features than that offered in iMovie, my 10-year-old son said he’s not really sure how often he would use GarageBand in his YouTube videos.
So, What Are My Apple Camp Tips (+ Pros and Cons)?
- Different workshops are offered, so be sure to pick one during registration that your child doesn’t know much about already.
- If your child knows about all of the different workshops being offered, don’t sign up! Save the spot for someone with children who may be less familiar with how those programs work.
- Workshops fill up really quickly, so if you don’t register within a couple weeks of when they open in June, you’ll be put on a waitlist.
- Note that parents must stay with children during entire workshop (that means no venturing to Starbucks or doing a little mall shopping during this time. Instead you get to be tempted to buy the latest laptop or iPad 😉 ). This may vary by location now, but this was the policy at my store.
- Workshop days were split up on 3 separate days (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at our store) – our Apple Store is 30 minutes away, so I would have rather had 1-2 longer workshops.
- One of the best perks is that kids get a FREE T-Shirt and Apple USB drive bracelet (pretty awesome!)
Overall, the workshop was a good experience considering the boys got a FREE T-Shirt, USB bracelet and also got to play on iPads for a couple hours. However, if your kids are older, are very experienced with iPads, have created storyboards previously, know how to make music and/or use the GarageBand app, or already know how to make and edit YouTube videos to music, you may want to pick a different Apple Camp workshop and/or save the spot for someone else as they may be a little bored.
Note that these are my OWN personal opinions based on OUR experience with the GarageBand workshop. I know that many Hip2Save readers and their kids thoroughly love Apple Camp, so please consider signing your kids up for a workshop (if available) and sharing your experience too!
Share your Apple Camp thoughts!
Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.