Minecraft Challenge Course Information for Parents

Dear Parents,

Thanks so much for enrolling your campers in Minecraft Challenge! The following information and collection of resources is here to help you understand exactly what your campers are accomplishing at camp, and how they can continue building on their skills after camp ends. Please feel free to ask your lead instructor any questions you may have. You can also email or call us at any time with any questions, comments, or concerns. You can reach us at camp@nulltechsplosion.org and 415.223.4312.


CAMP ESSENTIALS

    • Please verify the hours of camp. Most of our programs are 9am-4pm.
    • We believe it’s important to have balance between technology and physical activity, so we spend approximately 2 hours outside the classroom each day between lunch and snack breaks and outdoor games, hence the sunscreen and shoes.
  • We typically take a morning snack break (~10:15), a lunch break (~12:15), and an afternoon break (~2:45). At each of these breaks, instructors will gauge the energy level and choose an activity based on it.

EACH DAY, PLEASE BRING

  • Lunch and healthy snacks
  • Clothes to play in (they might get dirty and/or wet!)
  • Headphones (we are happy to provide if necessary)
  • Sunscreen

WHAT ARE MY KIDS DOING AT CAMP?

Our goal at camp is to harness the passion kids have for Minecraft, and put their immense focus and energy towards learning new skills and improving existing ones. At Minecraft Challenge, these skills will include teamwork, problem solving, video game design, introductory coding, and video production.

While activities and schedule will vary, a typical camp schedule by day is listed below.

Monday’s Primary Focus: A Collaboratively Constructed Parkour Map
Skills: Teamwork & Game Design

Tuesday’s Primary Focus: Individual Maps Generated with the help of WorldEdit*
Skills: Introductory Coding, Game Design, & Problem Solving

*This activity is frequently skipped to make more time for other projects

Wednesday’s Primary Focus: Producing a Minecraft Movie
Skills: Teamwork & Video Production

Thursday’s Primary Focus: Finishing Minecraft Movie & Papercraft/”The Steves”
Skills: Teamwork & Video Production

Friday’s Primary Focus: Wrapping Up & Free Play
Skills: Varies

Thinking Ahead:

    • Campers who attend Minecraft Challenge become eligible to attend our advanced program, Xtreme Minecraft, regardless of their age. Xtreme Minecraft includes learning the basics of coding a mod in addition to revisiting activities from Minecraft Challenge in more depth.
  • We encourage campers to continue exploring their passions in our wide variety of technical summer camps. We have programs all over the bay area, all summer long. Find our full schedule of CraftCamp & Techsplosion programs by hovering over “Camp Locations” and choosing your area.
  • We now offer amazing Minecraft and LEGO Robot Battle-themed birthday parties! Learn more here: http://techsplosion.org/robotics-minecraft-birthday-parties/


MAJOR ACTIVITIES

Activities will vary by camp. Because Minecraft is infamous for changing technical aspects of their software regularly and without warning, we suggest using Google to find the most up-to-date information on specific tasks. Below, we’ve suggested some great things to search for!

Group Survival Play:
To facilitate a feeling of community, we divide campers into small groups of varying ability levels to play “survival” mode together- where they need to collaborate together to build a shelter and keep everyone in their group safe and well-fed.

Related Google Searches for Continuing the Fun!

  • How to play a custom world in Minecraft

Parkour Map:
We give the campers a world that’s empty except for a few gates in a “superflat” sandstone desert. Those gates represent the beginning and end of each small group’s building area. Once campers arrive at their gates, they begin intensively working on a parkour-style obstacle course, which challenges them to put into play game design fundamentals like theme, playability, and creativity.

Related Google Searches for Continuing the Fun!

    • How to play a custom world in Minecraft
    • Minecraft parkour ideas
  • Minecraft parkour tutorial

WorldEdit:
WorldEdit is a powerful tool for making major changes to Minecraft worlds via command line. For instance, your camper might want to generate a glass dome to encapsulate their Mob Arena or Minecraft Hunger Games map, in which case they would position themselves on the ground in the center of their map and type the command //hsphere glass 75 (which would generate a hollow glass sphere of a 75 block radius). We use WorldEdit to create spectacular maps individually, encouraging campers to work together to problem solve as necessary.

Related Google Searches for Continuing the Fun!

    • How to play a custom world in Minecraft
    • How to install WorldEdit
  • How to install WorldEdit CUI (the WorldEdit CUI makes WorldEdit a lot easier to use)

Screencasting:
This is a major production! Kids divide into small groups and come up with a topic for a movie of some kind. The possibilities are endless: at camp we’ve seen 3-act cinematic masterpieces, goofy “Let’s Play…” videos, instructional redstone videos, and even a Minecraft cooking show. We work with campers to develop a concept that regardless of content has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We also discuss how to make videos that are palatable to as many people as possible– campers are encouraged to give lots of context so viewers understand what’s going on.

Related Google Searches for Continuing the Fun!

    • Bandicam basics
    • Windows Live Movie Maker basics
  • iMovie basics

Minecraft Papercraft/”The Steves”
Campers will each create a 3d Minecraft papercraft character that they will have an opportunity to color and decorate. Campers who do especially exceptional work at camp may receive a “Steves” award on Friday to commemorate their efforts!

Related Google Searchs for Continuing the Fun!

  • Minecraft Papercraft Templates

Mod Play with ATLauncher:
ATLauncher is our Modpack Launcher of choice because it makes playing with epic modpacks like Pixelmon, Sky Factory, and Bevo’s Tech Pack super easy. We often introduce ATLauncher on Wednesday during free time.

Related Google Searches for Continuing the Fun!

    • Download ATLauncher
  • How to use ATLauncher

WHERE ARE OUR FILES FROM CAMP?

You can find links to your files, and your friends’ at http://techsplosion.org/techsplosion-camper-projects/


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