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Planning Your Camp

Hosting a camp takes some planning in advance. Here are some recommendations from the Maker Camp staff.

Recruit your campers.

Invite kids from your community to make! Use Maker Camp Digital Assets to promote your camp to the community. Get ready to take your campers on a great adventure. We’re interested in reaching and inspiring young women, as well as kids who couldn’t otherwise attend a camp. If your recruitment and outreach focuses on girls, low-income families, or any other groups who are not well represented in technology, we’d love to hear about it!

Select your Adventures and Trails.

Maker Camp for 2021 is arranged under seven Adventures, with various trails for your campers to follow. Each Trail has a range of projects you can explore. and Use the Maker Camp online project library to select the activities that will be best for your campers. You can sort by age, time needed, skill level, and topic. You can also Favorite projects you plan to use, so that it’s easy to find them later. For more information about using our LearnDash project library, please visit Using LearnDash.

Join the Maker Camp Community Group.

You’ll be invited to join an exclusive groupfor Maker Camp Community Partners where you can share ideas, ask questions, and find support. This group is also where we’ll post additional content, like recorded information sessions and a weekly newsletter to share with campers and their families. Be sure to create your profile and join.

Gather materials.

Many materials best suited for making are abundant and free. While much of what you need might be already available in your home and/or organization, you may need to buy supplies for camp. Select Community Partner Sites may also receive a physical camp kit with materials to supplement their making.

Each project in our library has a “Resources” tab that lists specific materials so that you can plan accordingly. For more ideas about where to find items you’ll and kits available through Maker Shed see Camp Materials.

Prepare your computers

Check your camp locations’ access to the Internet and WiFi to ensure campers will have a good connection for online activities. Make sure your computers can access sites like Scratch and MakeCode before camp starts. Check your selected Maker Camp projects in advance and test that all websites work properly. Contact your IT department to grant access to the sites you’ll need. Don’t forget to check if YouTube works, too!

Some Maker Camp projects may require software that may be new to you—and to your computers! Find out who has administrative privileges to load software and plan in advance. If you are planning online or hybrid camps, make sure your meeting software — such as Zoom or Google Meetings — works.

You’ll also want to test your computer equipment, like webcams, projectors, and microphones, in advance. Plus, make sure any peripherals or microcontrollers you plan to use are able to connect to your computers. And be sure you have enough cables to go around!

This summer we have daily synchronous sessions with CodeJoy, two livestreams and a Zoom Party with Mario the Maker Magician and virtual showcases with Mozilla Hubs, so you’ll want to be prepared to enjoy all that content.

Prepare your space.

Think about how your space and projects mix. Some projects are best done on a table with chairs, while others require lots of space to move around. Think about how you want to set up the materials for campers, and how they’ll flow around the space for the projects.

Prepare your digital space.

Share your Maker Camp program hours and details on your website or social media. Create a website, Facebook page or group, or other information-sharing digital location for your camp.

Connect with Local Makers.

Check out some of your community resources, especially any makerspaces or hackerspaces near you! If you choose to bring in local makers, double check with your location or organization about any rules and regulations that may be required to have them safely work with your campers.

Maker Camp June 18, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.
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