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Online summer leadership camp encourages teens to learn new skills

The Up and Coming program teaches skills and connects youth across Canada who have similar interests
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Summer will look a little different this year, especially for teenagers who aren’t working, can’t see many of their friends, and who are missing out on opportunities like summer camps.

“Professors and high school teachers and college coaches are looking around thinking it must really suck to be a teenager during COVID,” says Maddy Orr with Up and Coming, an organization trying to bring a bit of normal to youth across Canada with their summer programming.

Described as “Masterclass meets leadership camp,” Up and Coming is hosting online week-long workshops for two consecutive weeks in August. Youth ages 13 to 17 are able to sign up for courses like photography, graphic design, cooking, and fitness.

“If you choose to do coding you’ll spend the week building your own website and learning how to do that and what goes into web design. If you’re interested in cooking we have a cooking workshop where you’re going to meet different chefs from across Canada and learn how to cook really good food,” says Orr.

For $150 a week the students will receive 15 hours of instruction from industry experts, like Olympian Jessica Zelinka who’s teaching the fitness workshops.

“Whatever program you choose to do, you’ll spend a couple hours a day in the afternoons in August working on that craft or that skill. And we’re hoping that it’s a good opportunity for teens to have a lot of fun, learn and make some friends in their own communities and across Canada,” Orr tells NEWS 95.7’s The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

Orr says the program will also connect youth across Canada and allow them to make friends with people who have similar interests. “We have people registering from everywhere from Nunavut to Victoria to our in Newfoundland and in Halifax already we have some registrants. So you’re going to meet people in your group from all over the country,” she says.

For those who face financial barriers, there’s also a scholarship program offering 56 free spots to participants. To sign up or find more info, visit

Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

Victoria is's weekend editor and a Halifax-based freelancer. She is originally from Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.
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