Every little girl likes to play dress up, but not all of them are so quick to grow out of it. Some parlay that early fascination into an overall interest in fashion. They don't have to wait until they're adults to pursue it as a potential career, though. They can spend some of their summer vacations at relatively inexpensive overnight fashion camps.
Teen Fashion Camps
Overnight fashion camps aren't as ubiquitous as other summer programs, but they are out there if you know where to look. There are a number of fashion day camps, but if your teen just can't pull herself away from fashion every night and wants to spend a week or more pouring over designs and modeling, these are a few camps to consider:
- Modeling Camp - These camps are offered across the country in New York City, Los Angeles, and Northern Virginia. Through the individual programs, campers ages 7 through 18 will have the chance to create a portfolio after a photo shoot and meet agents and casting directors. The program has been mentioned on NBC and MSNBC.
- Pali Overnight Adventures Fashion Design Institute - The Fashion Design Institute is just one of the number of the many action, performing, creative, and leadership camps Pali has to offer. Starting with sketches and illustrations, campers will see it through and design their own outfit from scratch that they'll show off at a fashion show.
- Passport NYC - This camp is geared toward Jewish high school-aged teenagers, and along with offering them programs in film, culinary arts, the music industry, and musical theater, it also offers a fashion design program. More than the creative programs, Passport NYC also guides teens toward social responsibility and Jewish values.
Summer Programs Offered Through Universities
The first summer camps that automatically come to mind are the traditional ones offered in a remote areas and led by happy young adults. However, there are also some other less obvious places to look for summer fashion camps. After checking with the local YWCA, don't forget to check with area universities and trade schools that offer fashion programs. They're often eager to get younger students interested with the hopes they'll attend the college in a few years. The following are two such programs:
- The Madeira School's Passion for Fashion - Through much of the year, Madeira is a girl's boarding school and day school, but they also open themselves up in the summers for camps, with one of those camps being "Passion for Fashion." Offered as both a residential and day camp, this programs give girls a chance to design their own fashion line and hear fashion professionals speak.
- Marist Pre-College Programs - The staff at Marist College, located between New York City and Albany, dedicate themselves to the development of the whole person. For that reason, they offer high school students pre-college summer camps in a number of areas, including fashion design and merchandising. The larger bonus is that they'll earn college credits after taking this course to start them on their way.
Keeping Costs Down
Most week-long fashion camps cost under $400 to attend, but this may still be a stretch for families on a budget. If you're working with limited funds, consider one of these ideas to keep costs at a reasonable level:
- Ask about a scholarship. Some camps offer discounts for those who need them. Your child may also receive a scholarship from a local organization.
- Have your child get a summer job. Even young teens can babysit for neighbors to help defray the cost of fashion camp.
- Shop around for the best price. Camp rates change every year, so it's a good idea to call nearby fashion camps to find the one that is most affordable.
Making It a Summer to Remember!
Participating in a summer camp is always a memorable event for teenagers, and attending one that meets up with their specific interests is even more special. An overnight fashion camp will be more than a simple educational experience to any young designer or potential model, as they learn just what it will take to make it in the fashion world.