By Annette Bourdeau, Our Kids Go To Camp: The Summer Camp Guide 2010, Globe & Mail
Learning Video Game Design at Artech Camps, Ottawa. Photograph by Fred Chartrand
Educational camps are an ideal way for kids to learn new concepts in a fun, hands-on environment. Most summer camps skip the classroom lectures, instead incorporating fun elements such as drama, games and even robots into the lesson plans.
There are educational day camps, such as Artech Camp, which offer one-week sessions in Ottawa and Toronto as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“All of the camps have an art component and a technology component,” says Ronnie Scullion, director of Artech Camp. Children can sign up for different programs, including camps focused on building robots, designing video games and animation, claymation or flash animation. The programs teach campers how to use technology more creatively.
Noah, 9, signed up for the video-game design course because he loves to play the games when they’re done. “I like the platform games — you get to create ways for your character to bounce off the walls,”he says.
Artech’s instructors are mostly university students. Trained in art and technology, instructors guide campers through more art-driven tasks, such as illustrating models of their robots and executing the designs using technology.
Between building robots, designing video games or animating short films, the campers go swimming and play outdoor games. At week’s end, campers present their creations to parents and friends.