App Camp For Girls

Girls learn how to design and build iPhone apps, working with women developers and designers.
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Jean MacDonald
576 Facebook Friends
LinkedIn Verified
Education
Portland, Oregon
United States
15 Team Members

Update (June 5, 2015)

Thanks to all the amazing support we received, we were able to expand the program from Portland to Seattle and Vancouver, Canada, over the last two years. We've launched a new Indiegogo campaign to take us to the next level. Help us reach more girls in more locations, and get some cool perks too!
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Join Us In Launching App Camp For Girls!

We hit our original target of $50,000 in just three days. We are now aiming for $100,000, so that we can bring the awesome AC4G program to more girls in more locations by next summer.

Update (July 12, 2013)

App Camp For Girls was featured in The New Yorker today in an article titled Making Apps, Not Friendship Bracelets. It's a great overview of what we are doing and why it's important.

We've posted our first camper testimonial too. Aysa describes what makes App Camp For Girls awesome!

It's great seeing everyone come together to support this program. Only 4 days remain--make sure to invite your friends to join us too and get the word out in this final stretch.

Update (July 9, 2013)

See App Camp in action! We posted a new campaign video here, with footage from the first week of camp. And we were also featured on KATU News, in a great feature with reporter Valerie Hurst. 

For a firsthand account of volunteering, listen to designer and App Camp volunteer Christa Mrgan on The Talk Show with John Gruber. Towards the end of the show, she describes her experience working with the girls on interface and icon design. We are looking forward to having Christa back in August!

Update (July 3, 2013)

We just finished an amazing week! Twelve smart, creative girls participated in the App Camp “beta” session. We wanted to test out the program, and these girls agreed to be “guinea pigs” in exchange for waived camp tuition. (Read our latest Indiegogo update for more details!)

The girls loved it! “It’s a fun camp where you get to learn so much, meet amazing people, and build friendship and confidence.”

And so did their parents. “My daughter had a terrific time and was so inspired! Your camp has solidified her interest in a career as a computer programmer.”

We are also very excited to be closing in on $75,000 in donations! Our stretch goal is $100,000. With the additional funds, we will accelerate our plans and expand the program beyond Portland in Summer 2014.

Help us decide. When we make our new goal of $100,000, where should App Camp For Girls go next? Let us know in your comments!

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Why Apps? Why Girls?

App Camp for Girls wants to address the gender imbalance among software developers by giving girls the chance to learn how to build apps, to be inspired by women instructors, and to get exposure to software development as a career. Our goal is to grow our non-profit organization into a national force, with programs in multiple cities, helping thousands of girls.

We are launching this summer in Portland, Oregon. This summer, we'll be holding two sessions with girls 12-14 so that we can build and refine our curriculum. With experience and an established program, we'll move forward over the coming year with plans to expand the camp for Summer 2014 to accommodate more girls and a bigger age group, and to build the organization to reach beyond Portland to other cities.

Where did we get this idea?

Have you ever attended a tech conference and wondered, "Where are all the women?" That was founder Jean MacDonald's question. She attends an annual developer gathering with over 5000 attendees every year, and only a few hundred of them are women. Instead of feeling cranky about it, she tried to think of a positive way to address the imbalance.

Women use iPhone apps as much as men  do. Why aren't they developing them?

As a volunteer and former board member at the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, Jean knew that amazing things happen when women mentors help girls see themselves in roles they had never imagined before. The camp started in Portland 12 years ago, and today there are girls rock camps around the world. App Camp For Girls is inspired by this model.

Girls Design Their Apps

What have we done so far?

In March, we held a one-day "alpha" camp with a small group to test out our plan to build an app with the girls in a short amount of time. It was a huge success. 

Aysa's quote

The highlight of the program for the girls was using the finished app on the iPhone. The feeling of accomplishment was clearly visible on their faces.

We are doing a "beta" camp (at no charge) June 24-28 with 12 girls to build on the success of the alpha camp and extend the program to a full week. Even with minimal outreach, we received beta camp applications from over 30 girls. We know the demand and need is there, and we know we have a program that is both engaging and inspiring. Our August regular session is scheduled to have 20 campers, and we already have girls signing up.

Update: Our first "beta" session was a huge success. Check out our pitch video above to see the camp in action. We are focused now on making August even better!

What happens at App Camp?

The schedule at App Camp For Girls is equal parts geeky and fun. It's summer camp, after all! Girls are divided in to project teams, and the teams are led by a woman iOS developer with help from other women who are designers, testers, support specialists, and others.

Code counselor Natalie demonstrates Xcode

The weeklong session covers the process from brainstorming an app idea to marketing the finished app. Girls will learn how to sketch out and storyboard their app ideas. The project team leaders will take the refined app storyboards and show the girls how apps are built in Xcode. The girls will have an opportunity for hands-on time with Xcode Storyboards and will learn how to customize the content of their app.

I learned what it takes to make an app

In addition to developing their apps, the girls get to design icons and write App Store descriptions, while figuring out who their target market is. On the last day of camp, the teams will pitch their apps to a panel of women angel investors, giving them a chance to receive valuable feedback and learn more about the business side of app development.

Each day, we'll also have some physical activities with teachers coming in to do yoga, hula hooping, and self defense. Weather permitting (it is Oregon, of course), we can take advantage of the playground at TaborSpace where the camp is held and go on hikes in nearby Mt. Tabor Park. There will also be arts-and-crafts, button making, decorating iPhone cases and designing iPhone wallpaper.

The camp will provide an iPod touch for each girl to use. This will make it easy for the girls to learn by example, looking at current apps and how they work. The finished apps from each project team will be loaded on to all the iPod touches so the girls can see their apps on the device and get that sense of pride and excitement that comes with deploying your first app.

Girls Testing Their App

What will the funds be used for?

Our goal is to raise enough money to fund the first 12 months of building a non-profit nationwide program. We have the costs of launching the Summer 2013 App Camp with 32 girls over two sessions (June and August), as well as the costs of running the camp, expanding the program and doing outreach for the next 12 months. Some of the expenses include:

  • iPod touches
  • MacBooks, backup drives and other accessories
  • venue rental
  • classroom equipment and projector
  • volunteer stipends
  • scholarships
  • design tools and art supplies
  • software: CRM, finance, presentation
  • website hosting
  • accounting and legal services
  • printing and t-shirts
  • snacks and lunches

Update: We hit our target of $50,000 in just three days. We are now working toward our stretch goal of $100,000. The response to App Camp For Girls has been just amazing, and we often hear the question: "When can you bring App Camp to our city?" With the additional funding, we'll be able to bring the program to more girls in more cities by Summer 2014.

How can you help?

First and foremost, we welcome your dollars! There are hard costs associated both with launching and seeding a fruitful, long-term venture like this. (Did we mention we were thinking big? Lots of lost ground to make up for as far as creating gender balance and opportunity!)

Second, we'd love your help getting the word out about App Camp for Girls—both this fundraiser and the project in general. We can't be everywhere and we don't know everyone who'll want to be involved—yet, anyway—so we really need your help. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or your favorite online or real-life networks of choice increases our chances of getting more girls in more camps making more apps. 

To facilitate this, Friend of AC4G and functional muse Dyana Valentine generously pre-rolled some <140-character messages for your tweeting convenience:

Think app-building is a boy-thing? Don't click here: http://bit.ly/app-camp

Think girls+summer=lemonade stands and tan lines? Think again! http://bit.ly/app-camp

Help 32 girls kick APP this summer! http://bit.ly/app-camp

Want to support girls in tech? Put your $ where your heart is: http://bit.ly/app-camp

Integrating software development, one girl at a time: http://bit.ly/app-camp

Girls+tech+lady smarty pants mentors= a better world. Support @AppCamp4Girls http://bit.ly/app-camp

Alpha Session Camp Photo

Our thanks...

... to you for supporting our campaign and spreading the word, and to many fine people who have helped us get this far:

Natalie Osten and Kelly Guimont: volunteer counselors and co-organizers extraordinaire!

Our colleagues have very generously supported by making it possible for us to focus time and attention to the project. We are lucky to work with such great developers:
- Greg Scown & Philip Goward of Smile 
- Dave Teare, Roustem Karimov & Jeff Shiner of 1Password/AgileBits
- Evan DeLaney of Fish Hook

Josh Barrett of CreateLegal provides us legal services and much wise advice.

Thompson Morrison and Chris Brooks at the TechStart Educational Foundation stepped into the crucial role of non-profit fiscal sponsor, sharing their deep experience and expertise in tech education programming.

Julie Mills of DesignPony designed our awesome logo, buttons, flyers; she makes us look good.

Colleen Wainwright, aka Communicatrix, offered indispensable support and generously shared the expertise she gained from her own WriteGirl/50-for-50 campaign.

Curtis Settino of Canoofle did an amazing job producing our fundraising video, while providing a lot of smart advice on the process.

The Doubleclicks curated the Clever Girl Mixtape perk, gathering together delightful and nerdy musicians Marian Call, Molly Lewis, Sarah Donner, and Kirby Krackle to support App Camp For Girls.

Artist Rosie Augustine loved the idea of creating a unique Ada Lovelace collage portrait, adding a touch of elegance to our perk offerings. Check out all of Rosie's unique mixed media artwork, and you'll get an idea of what she will do with the Ada portrait.

LeAnn Boucher and Aaron Hillegass at Big Nerd Ranch generously arranged a donation of copies of the excellent and popular iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide.

Kirschen Seah happily pitched in to organize and curate our companion blog App Stories, featuring interviews with our favorite developers about their first apps. 

Beth Wooten, Molly Gray and all the staff and campers at Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls: without your example, there would be no App Camp For Girls!

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Please note: when you donate, your receipt will say "TECHSTART". TechStart Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, is the fiscal sponsor of App Camp For Girls, a non-profit corporation in the State of Oregon. Donations to App Camp For Girls via TechStart are tax-deductible.

Find This Campaign On
$106,328USD
raised by 1,043 people in 1 month
213% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 16, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    The Girls Thank You!

    You get our thanks, and a special digital thank-you card designed by the App Campers.

    84 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $10USD
    Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack

    Get Girl Power on your iPhone. A set of 20 designs you can use as your iPhone wallpaper, designed by App Campers exclusively for our supporters.

    114 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $20USD
    Temporary Tattoo

    Show off your support for App Camp For Girls (temporarily, not indelibly) with this special tattoo.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $25USD
    The Clever Girl Mixtape

    Curated by The Doubleclicks, it includes their song "Clever Girl" plus 4 other awesome, smart, fun songs by Marian Call, Sarah Donner, Kirby Krackle, and Molly Lewis, chosen to delight nerds of all stripes. Plus you get the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    152 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $50USD
    App Camp T-shirt

    Get the exclusive App Camp For Girls t-shirt, designed for our supporters. Plus you get the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    220 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • SOLD OUT

    $75USD
    Be a Big Nerd!

    So you want to make apps too? Nerds around the world have learned how at Big Nerd Ranch. Get iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, and teach yourself! Plus you get the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    48 out of 48 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $100USD
    Be a Virtual Camper!

    You'll get the App Camp For Girls t-shirt, a special App Camp Memories photo scrapbook and your own App Camp badge. Plus you get the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    49 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $200USD
    App Camp Bark Back for iPhone

    Give your iPhone the rustic look! A sleek, low-profile bark back featuring the App Camp For Girls owl, made from domestic hardwoods that have been milled perfectly thin. The clear finish provides a durable surface that protects your phone from even the grittiest picnic tables. Available for iPhone 4/4s or 5. (Go to the Gallery to see this perk.)

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • SOLD OUT

    $250USD
    Ada Lovelace Portrait Art

    Ada Lovelace wrote the world's first computer program in 1843. Designed and crafted exclusively for App Camp For Girls supporters by artist Rosie Augustine, the finished giclée collage print on heavy watercolor paper is sealed onto a 6" x 6" salvaged cabinetry wood block. A unique and elegant addition to your home or office decor. Limited edition of 50 signed and numbered blocks. Plus you get the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    40 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    The App Camp Omnibus

    The Ada Lovelace wood block collage, the App Camp t-shirt, the App Camp Memories photo scrapbook, the App Camp badge, The Clever Girl Mixtape, The Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • SOLD OUT

    $1,000USD
    Project Team Sponsor

    Sponsor an App Camp Project Team. Each team of 4 girls will concept, build and present an iPhone app. As sponsor, you'll get a credit in the app's description. We'll send you a video of your team at the App Camp Pitch Session on the last day of camp, so you can see them thank you personally. You'll also get the App Camp Memories photo scrapbook, the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    6 out of 6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $1,000USD
    Bronze Sponsorship

    You or your company will be listed on the App Camp For Girls Sponsors page, including a link. We'll tweet out our thanks and mention you on our Facebook page. You'll also get the App Camp Memories photo scrapbook, the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $2,500USD
    Silver Sponsorship

    You will get a special App Camp For Girls Silver Sponsor plaque, perfect for displaying in your office. You or your company will be listed on the App Camp For Girls Sponsors page, including a link. We'll tweet out our thanks and mention you on our Facebook page. You'll also get the App Camp Memories photo scrapbook, the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $5,000USD
    Gold Sponsorship

    We will display your name or logo as a sponsor of the pitch session on the last day of camp. You will get a special App Camp For Girls Gold Sponsor plaque, perfect for displaying in your office. You or your company will be listed on the App Camp For Girls Sponsors page, including a link. We'll tweet out our thanks and mention you on our Facebook page. You'll also get the App Camp Memories photo scrapbook, the Girl-Powered Wallpaper Pack and the digital thank-you card.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
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