Summer Handbook (for families)

Somerville Media Center Summer Program FAQ

Hello Parents! We are so excited to be kicking off another incredible summer of youth programming here at Somerville Media Center! This information aims to answer common questions and offer some basic information about our summer programming. If you have any additional questions, please contact Heather at or 617-628-8826. Thanks!
My child got in! Now how do I pay?

  • You may pay online via PayPal/Gravity forms
  • By check: You may send us a check directly. Please address the check to: Somerville Community Access Television 90 Union Square Somerville, MA 02143
    • In the “memo” line, please indicate which camp program you are paying for, and for which child(ren), so we can keep accurate records.
  • Please note: We expect payments to be made no later than June 1st. Please contact Heather ASAP if you need to set up an alternate arrangement for payment. 

What does my child need to bring with them?

  • A lunch or lunch money Every day we have a lunch break where we eat and run around outside at a local park from 12-1pm. We have fridge space to accommodate lunch boxes. We also can accompany your child (or if your child is old enough to walk themselves) to purchase lunch at a nearby Union Sq establishment if they bring money with them.
  • No tree nuts or peanuts. We have a number of youth with severe allergies.
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing. While we will spend a lot of time inside, we also make sure to do activities outside (including our mandatory hour long run around time) and youth should be prepared to be active.
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen (for outside time)
  • Medication (inhaler, epi pen, etc.) Please contact me directly if your child has specific medication needs unless you have already specified this information on your registration form.
  • Electronics: Generally we ask youth to keep their phones or other devices turned off/on silent in their bags until lunch time, where they have the opportunity to use them if they would like. Also, while we will provide all camera equipment, if youth have their own cameras (or other equipment) they’d like to bring, they should feel free to do so at their own risk (we cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items). Of course, youth are in no way required to bring any electronic devices with them to participate.
  • A positive attitude and a willingness to learn and try new things!

What do I need to know about drop off and pick up?

    • Drop off is at 9:00am, and pick up is at 3:30pm every day.
      • There are limited extended day spots available for parents who would like coverage for their child until 5pm. This requires an additional fee of $75/week.
      • Note: The hours for teen filmmaking camp are 10am-5pm, not 9-3:30. 
    • Please do not drop off your child before 9:00am as staff will be busy prepping for the day. If this will cause significant hardship please contact me ASAP for consideration on a case-by-case basis.
    • If you are going to be late picking up your child, please text me directly.
  • If you will be sharing drop off/pick up duties with another parent, or if anyone other than you will ever be picking up or dropping off your child, please let me know ahead of time in writing (you may send a note with your child or email me).
  • If your child is 13+, I assume they have permission to walk to/from program on their own, however if they do not–or if you have a younger child you’d like to give permission to walk on their own–please also indicate this to me in writing. No child under the age of 9 will be authorized to walk alone. 

What will my kid be doing all day?

  • Hands-on curriculum: Each week we develop a unique curriculum of hands-on activities that youth will engage in, most often in collaboration with one another. We believe that the best learning is through doing, so youth will jump in right away when they arrive. We begin the week by building community through teambuilding activities, then teach individual media production skills in a scaffolded and comprehensive way, finally building towards a culminating project that we share in a community showcase at the end of the week.
  • Final Projects:
      • Creating a digital photo portfolio (Youth Eye View Photo Camp)
      • Writing, filming, and starring in an original TV show (TV Production)
      • Creating an original podcast or radio show and other audio projects (All things Audio)
      • Filming, directing, producing, and editing multiple original short films (Teen Filmmaking Bootcamp)
      • Creating multiple animated shorts using a variety of strategies (ReAnimated!)
  • Community Showcase: A huge element of our weekly program is the community showcase, held every Friday from 3:30-4:30pm in the Somerville Media Center Main Studio (for the 2-week filmmaking bootcamp, the showcase will be held on the second Friday, and will be from 4-5pm). The showcase is an opportunity for youth to share what they’ve worked on during the week, and for the community to celebrate their original creations!
    • Light refreshments and drinks are provided.
    • All family members and friends are welcome to attend!

What happens if there’s an emergency?

  • My cell phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx (see email to families of registered children. Please contact me there during the hours of 9-3:30 as I will not be at my desk!
  • In the event of a medical emergency: Youth Media Program staff are trained in First Aid and CPR and receive CORI/SORI background checks. By sending your child to camp you give SMC permission to provide basic first aid to your child and/or arrange transportation to Somerville Hospital in case of a more severe injury or issue. I will contact all parents in the event of a medical emergency immediately.
  • Please provide me with at least one emergency contact number besides yourself. You may email me with this information.

What should I do if my child is sick/has an appointment/needs to leave early?

  • It is very important that you contact us if your child will not be attending camp for any reason. We check in and do attendance every morning and if your child doesn’t arrive (without us knowing ahead of time) we will be worried and need to contact you!
  • Please send notice of late drop offs/early pick ups/appointments/etc. directly to my cell phone.

My child has a disability/a severe allergy/a medical issue/etc.

  • If you did not include detailed information about this in your online registration, please send me that information AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
  • This is so we can adequately prepare accommodations and brief staff so we are all on the same page.

That’s all for now! Thank you so much for reading this information thoroughly, and again, please contact me if you need any additional information!
All the best,
Heather McCormack

Youth Media Coordinator
Somerville Media Center
617-628-8826 (work)