Digital Media Summer Camp 2021: Media Marathon

Each summer, several dozen rising 11th and 12th graders with an interest in journalism converge on Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism to have a fun week learning new journalism skills and trying their hands at multimedia storytelling. Working with CCJ’s university faculty, journalists in residence, partner journalists and journalism mentors our campers:

  • Create content for a web-based publication
  • Hone writing and photography skills
  • Learn essential audio and video skills
  • Sharpen interviewing skills

If you are a high school student interested in telling compelling stories through photo, video, audio and the written word, this camp is for you. You won’t spend your time cooped up in a classroom; you’ll get out into the community, practicing new skills with professionals guiding you. We’ll also have many fun activities (this is camp, after all).

Our campers learn or improve their knowledge of, and skills in, DSLR cameras, Premiere, Audition, writing for the web and more. They interview real people to tell their stories in a compelling multimedia format and publish the results. See the fine work from our 2015-2019 campers at The Macon Newsroom.

Scholarships are available. If you are interested in receiving consideration for a scholarship, please check that option on the camp application.

2021 Camp: Media Marathon

Camp CCJ will not be hosting an in-person, overnight camp for 2021, but we would like you to participate in our digital media scavenger hunt, the Media Marathon. The scavenger hunt will be live from June 21-July 31 and include five activities meant to build your digital storytelling skills. You’ll complete the activities in your own hometown, and we will be on hand for tutorials and any questions.

Interested campers can jump into the scavenger hunt any time from June 21-July 31, all you’ll need to do is register here.

We plan to invite campers back to campus in summer 2022, but please reach if you want to visit campus and we can schedule an in-person tour.

Camp CCJ is free of charge and is geared toward rising high school juniors and seniors.

Media Marathon

June 21 – July 31

Complete FIVE of the following activities to finish our scavenger hunt!

Option 1: Give us a tour of your city using one of the platforms below.

  • Create a one to two minute video tour of your city. You can see an example of that here.
  • Create a social media tour of your city to showcase what makes your city unique. You can create a free account on and use this to pull in posts.

Option 2: Interview someone who isn’t in your family about their favorite thing to do in your town . Create a 1-2 minute video from the interview OR write up a short story.

Option 3: Create a listicle of five interesting and unique things about Mercer. Aim to include a visual element with each list item but you are only required to include a visual with one item. You can read about Mercer here and see some examples of listicles here

Option 4: Take a photo story (3-5 photos) of a place in your town that’s interesting. Include a portrait, a scene setter and at least one detail. Include a short description (caption) for each photo. You can watch this video for advice on composing photos: 

Option 5: Make a TikTok to explain an urban myth in your hometown. Here’s an example

Option 6: Use Canva or another graphic design application to create an infographic on highlights of your hometown. You can see an example here and here.

Option 7: Write a news article about an interesting historical event in your hometown. Aim to interview someone who knows about it or was involved.

Submitting your Entry

  • Create a Google folder and label it with your name. 
  • Within the folder, create a separate document or folder for the five activities you complete. 
  • Label those documents/folders with the activity name. 
  • Share the main folder with us at 


Optional July Activities!

We’ll be hosting a few Zoom sessions in July. You will get a chance to meet the Center for Collaborative Journalism staff, screen a documentary and talk to the director, meet some of our current CCJ students and share your camp entries with our other campers. We will email you with the dates and invitations for those Zooms so make sure to keep checking your email! 

The CCJ's Digital Media Summer Camp in Macon was a great experience for Odyssey Newsmagazine and Odyssey Online students. Through hands-on, team-based and individualized instruction, students were able to experiment, to succeed and even to fail in a safe learning environment. Lessons learned this summer have informed our production this year and likely for years to come.

David A. Ragsdale, Clarke Central High School adviser