Looking for workshops for teens? You're in the right place! This is where you'll find everything for students in 7th to 12th grades. Scroll down to see our summer camp schedule and descriptions of our workshops.



Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp

For rising 7th + 8th graders and rising 9th-12th graders » Badgerdog's Creative Writing Summer Camp allows young people to work with local writers, gaining inspiration and instruction in the crafts of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing. Workshops are limited to 8 students, and campers are grouped according to grade level. All campers are published in a professional-quality anthology and the last day of camp will conclude with a celebratory student reading. » Session A: June 1-19 (3 weeks); Session C: June 29-July 17 (3 weeks); Session D: July 20-Aug. 7 (3 weeks)

Cinepoem 101: A Poetry + Film Workshop

For rising 6th-8th graders » Lights...Camera...Poetry! Poetry as a genre lends itself perfectly to film, due to its figurative ability to paint a picture. Cinepoetry is a genre that blends poetry and film, with a myriad of approaches. It’s often a film that features a poem and is a poet’s exploration of the visual communication of his or her sentiment and story. Poetry Film Auteur Jem Goulding will mentor and inspire young artists through poetry daily Cinepoem screening, poetry writing for sound and screen, visual poetry, photograph and video storyboarding all wrapped up in the question, what is beauty? And how do we capture it? For the budding filmmakers and poets out there, this workshop is a magical mystery tour through a very special art form that is rarely explored in educational institutions. It will serve to better understand the relationship between image and text, through a practical course in writing and shooting your own poetry film, or CINEPOEM! » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week)

Cinepoem 102: A Poetry + Film Workshop

For rising 6th-8th graders » Welcome back for more...Lights...Camera...Poetry! In this second Cinepoem workshop, students will continue to explore the question "What is beauty? And how do we capture it?" Led again by teaching artist Jem Goulding, students will envision and create multiple cinepoem projects that result in a final viewing party in which each participant's cinepoem film debuts! For the budding filmmakers and poets out there, this workshop is a magical mystery tour through a very special art form that is rarely explored in educational institutions. It will serve to better understand the relationship between image and text, through a practical course in writing and shooting your own poetry film, or CINEPOEM! » Session C: June 29-July 17 (3 weeks)

Dystopia: A Quest for Justice in Mad, Bad, Dangerous Worlds

For rising 7th-12th graders » Are you a fan of the captivating Giver, Divergent, Matched, or Hunger Games series? Each of those series (and so many more!) feature dystopian societies where things have gone terribly wrong, and an unlikely hero must step up and change the world for the better. In this one-week workshop, students will work on writing their own short story that features a dystopian society of their making. Each day, we will look at a different skill like world-building, creating a hero we can root for, creating a vicious villain, and charting conflict. At the end of the week, we’ll share our short stories and marvel at the worlds we’ve created. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week); SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

We Create: The Poetry of Community

For rising 8th-12th graders » What changes when we write simultaneously? How can we create collaboratively? How can we support one another fiercely? These are only some of the questions we will explore in The Poetry of Community! In an act of writing together while we are apart, students will participate in guided multi-step prompts in a Zoom classroom with questions like “Is your joy more of a bird, a lantern, or an ocean?” In this way, we will practice freeing up our child-like, associative mind, and engage in play with words. Alongside reading poems on their own, students will take the notes generated from the Zoom prompts to craft a poem to share the next day. We will also collaborate by writing together in real time on Zoom! Students will create poems as a group and utilize games and tools such as Mad Libs poetry, extended metaphor, and repetition to write with many voices to create one poem. Through writing simultaneously and collaboratively, we will share in delight and build trust to establish an environment centered around building each other up. In a world of competition and commodification, creating, collaborating, and supporting one another is an act of resistance. Led by Badgerdog teaching artist nicole v. basta. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week)

Screenwriting 101 Workshop

For rising 6th-8th graders » We will spend this week immersing ourselves in the art of writing for the screen. Our focus will be on the short screenplay. Over the course of the week, you will learn how to choose a strong story premise, how to structure your story through conflict and pacing, and how to populate your story with believable characters, among other things. By the end of the workshop, each student will complete a 1st draft of a short screenplay. Led by Badgerdog teaching artist Renée Troxler. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week)

Teen Zine-Making Workshop

For rising 7th-12th graders » In this workshop, we’ll explore the history of zine-making and, like a puzzle, create different pieces to put together and make our own zine. Through various mediums (i.e., comic strips, poems, short stories, and more), and the inclusion of a diverse array of topics (i.e., literally ANYTHING that interests you!). Led by teaching artist Leah Yacknin-Dawson, we will make a zine to share with the world, in the physical and internet forms. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (one week); Session E: Aug. 10-14 (one week)

MOOD METER: Writing About Emotions

For rising 7th-12th graders » Emotions matter! For your health, relationships, learning, decision-making, and creativity. Not to mention that emotions are at the very heart of creative writing. In this workshop, we’ll employ creative writing as a way to develop our emotional intelligence. Using a mixture of scientific and creative readings alongside writing games and emotional prompts, we will work our way through the major skills of emotional intelligence. By the end of the week, not only will we have become more skillful at incorporating emotions in our writing to make it stronger, but we will have developed a deeper understanding of how keeping in touch with our emotions can lead to real-life improvement of our well-being. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week)

CTRL + ALT + Poetry

For rising 8th-12th graders » Sometimes I wish that there was a computer command I could do that would automatically generate the inspiration I need to write poetry. This workshop encourages alternative approaches to the creative process, utilizing a variety of experimental forms to produce unique, funny, personality-packed, and moving work. We'll perform erasures on old textbooks; devise flash pieces based on strings of emojis; pull centos from newspaper headlines; create patchwork poems by writing imaginary captions to old pictures; try out Amazing Bold Compositions with abecedarians; and warp language with google-translate experiments. Great for writers who want to play with language, and find joy in experimenting with visual and interactive approaches to poetry! Led by Badgerdog teaching artist Sarah Matthes. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week); SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

How to Build A (Weirder, Crazier, Better) World

For rising 8th-12th graders » The world of a successful story doesn’t always have to be recognizable, but it does have to be believable. In this one-week workshop, we will focus on world-building in the realm of speculative fiction, with a focus on sci-fi and magical realism. We’ll explore how great authors like Ray Bradbury, Karen Russell, Kurt Vonnegut, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ursula K. Le Guin, and others create full, immersive settings in their stories, and we’ll dive into a wide range of bizarre, inventive worlds—dystopian and utopian, strange and (somewhat) familiar, beautiful and nightmarish and everything in between. Emerging writers will learn how to craft scenes, incorporate descriptive detail, and negotiate symbol and association in fiction, leaving the workshop with stories set in their own strange, surreal, believable worlds. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week); SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

Slam I Am: Slam Poetry Workshop

For rising 7th-12th graders » Using your story to change THE story. In this workshop, two-time National Poetry Slam slam master and poet, Jena Kirkpatrick will guide you through the history of the slam poetry movement from its beginning in 1987 in Chicago. We will discuss how spoken word and specifically slam poetry enables the performer to articulate a set of emotions and thoughts in a succinct manner. We will practice flipping the paradigm by expressing our own truth, breaking out of our stereotypical roles through discussing social issues that affect us personally. Various social justice performers and slam poetry champions will be featured in daily workshops. » SESSION B: June 22-26 (1 week); SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

From the Page to the Stage: Playwriting Workshop

For rising 9th-12th graders » Although we are unable to experience live theatre during the pandemic, Zoom is ideal for new play development! Write/develop your original short play (10-20 pages) in this three-week workshop. During the first week we’ll study a contemporary play, specifically discussing the six Aristotelian elements of drama (plot, character, thought, diction, music, and spectacle) as well as the relationship between form and content. Writing prompts will help students begin writing, and during the second and third weeks we’ll read and discuss drafts of each student's play in the style of a writers’ group. Come with ideas! Seeking generous folks eager to read and respond to each other's writing. Led by New York-based experimental director and playwright Jacob Sexton, this workshop will culminate with a professional table reading of student plays. » Session D: July 20-Aug. 7 (three weeks)

Badgerdog College Essay Workshop

For rising 10th-12th graders » Are you a high school student with college on your mind? Over the course of this five-day workshop, high school students will move through a generative writing process that guides them through brainstorming, drafting, and revision. By the end of the week, each student will have studied the craft of the personal essay and other elements of nonfiction. Students will leave camp with complete essay drafts and a revision roadmap for how to polish and customize these drafts for their college applications. » SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

The Long Haul: Maintaining Motivation and Direction In Writing A Novel

For rising 9th-12th graders » In this workshop, students will learn and discuss the basic building blocks of a novel, using novel excerpts as examples, and practice their fiction-writing skills. Teaching artist and novelist Ellie Paolini will also guide students through the mental and emotional process of writing a book-length piece of fiction, and share different writers' experiences of their processes. » SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

Fiction in a Flash: Flash Fiction + The Art of Keeping It Short

For rising 7th-12th graders » Ernest Hemingway broke hearts with 6 words when he wrote, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” In this one-week flash fiction course, learn to write gripping stories composed of only 300 to 500 words. We will explore successful flash fiction techniques and read pieces by authors Lydia Davis, Deb Olin Unferth, and Amy Hempel, among others. By the end of the week, participants will know more about the increasingly popular flash fiction genre, understand what makes these bite-sized stories so compelling, and display the beginnings of their own flash fiction collections. » SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)

Sounds of the Self: Writing Poetry From Your Playlist

For rising 8th-12th graders » If you were a character in a movie, what would your theme song be? What’s the song that defines your generation? How does music inspire you? The artist Jean-Michel Basquiat famously wrote to music, and we will see how our own playlists power our creative flow. In the process, we’ll explore how Pulitzer Prize winners Gwendolyn Brooks and Tracy K. Smith, as well as poets like Natalie Diaz and Morgan Parker, respond to musical atmospheres, lyrics, and pop stars. We’ll borrow some of their techniques to write our own musical poems about ourselves and the world. So bring your favorite tunes, and get ready to celebrate the music you can’t get out of your head! Led by Badgerdog teaching artist Erin Salada. » SESSION E: Aug. 10-14 (1 week)