Welcome to the information page for Game Changer’s 3rd annual summer camp series! Below are the three quick and easy steps you can take to enroll your child into one of our upcoming summer camps:
Choose one or more of our three available week-long summer camps happening throughout June.
Review and complete the registration and permission forms. Return them following the instructions inside the document.
Learn more about our camps and get answers to your questions by taking a look at the FAQ, below.
Summer Camps FAQ
Ready to jump into the fun, but still have a few questions? Please take a look at our FAQ, below:
Who are you?
We’re Game Changer! We’ve been Orlando’s nerd nonprofit since 2015. We teach kids how to learn through unplugged games and gaming. We take table-top games and infuse them with educational and social skills, so our students understand that learning is a life-long, fun endeavor! Since inception, we have served over 150 students in our summer camps and after-school programs, and you can find our programs at the Downtown Orlando branch of the Orange County Library and local game stores.
What’s the deal? The kids just play board games for hours?
Nope! Our students will definitely be playing games, but they will also be engaged in fun, interactive, and age-appropriate activities designed for learning. And, don’t get us wrong, these aren’t your typical boring educational games, these are fun, time-tested games that kids all over the world play. In fact, every lesson, activity, and game have been vetted by our staff and child behavioral specialist to support our goal of creating an environment where academic/social-emotional exploration and growth thrive.
Educational and social-emotional skills through games?
Yes! We believe that, when properly motivated, kids want to learn and are sponges for learning. Our games and activities are designed so that students will be encouraged to explore different skills and avenues of learning that help build a sense of self while becoming more socially engaged people. We call it our “Hidden Veggie Model,” and it’s simple: We start by selecting roleplaying games, card games, and board games that serve as a vehicle for the educational and social-emotional skills we are teaching. For Example:
- Roleplaying games have been shown to provide creative and imaginative thinking and storytelling skills. Examples include Dungeon & Dragons, Masks, and The Quiet Year;
- Card games that encourage strategic thinking and mathematical logic including Magic: The Gathering, the Pokemon Trading Card Game, and Hero Realms;
- Cooperative board games that foster teamwork, social skills, and problem solving, including Space Cadets, Forbidden Island, and the Lord of The Rings Board Game.
Please refer to our “Further Reading” section for more information about the benefits of games. The main skills are different depending on what camp your child is attending:
- Kids Camp: Teamwork, Writing, Problem Solving
- Magic: The Gathering Camp: Strategic Thought, Mathematical Logic
- Writing Adventure Camp: Creative Writing, Creative and Imaginative Thinking
Our social-emotional curriculum is present in all of our programs. The core social skills we practice and teach in our programs are:
- Good Sportsmanship
- Active Listening
- Etiquette/Social Skills
In an age of internet isolation and “screen addiction,” we believe it is now more important than ever to make our students aware of how they are speaking to their peers, and how to communicate face-to-face. This will better prepare them to be good communicators–an important ability no matter where life takes them.
How do I know that my child will be safe?
While your child is with us, we will do everything we can to ensure they have a fun and safe experience. All of our staff and volunteers have passed a background check provided by Verified Volunteers (you can learn more about Verified Volunteers on their website). Furthermore, our background checking service updates all checks monthly so we always have up-to-date information.
For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, camp rules and expectations are covered on the first day of the program. Please see our permission/registration form (Step 2, above) for more details. The game stores that host our programs both have kids-programming already well established, and as such are well equipped for our programs.
We keep record of any allergies your child might have, and ensure they do not come into contact with anything harmful to them. Speaking of food, snacks can be purchased from our game stores, and you are more than welcome to pack a snack for your child(ren) if you are concerned about healthier options.
We also use a sign-in/out sheet for when you drop off and pick up your child, ensuring they are exactly where they need to be. If for some reason you cannot pick up your child and ask a friend/relative, you must authorize them to do so on our permission slip, and they must show ID. We take safety very seriously and hold ourselves to the highest standards. In case of emergency, it is important to leave us two contact methods on the permission slip, and anyone you would authorize to pick up your children as well, preferably this would be a number you can be reached at during camp hours!
The camps are held in game stores?
Yes, we feel game stores are a natural connection to our programs. Our locations are family-friendly and host other kid’s programs so they are great starting grounds for any child interested in a future hobby of gaming. Campus Cards and Games 2 and Mana Tide Games are brightly lit, clean, and have amazing and friendly staff that are always ready to help. For our summer camps, Campus Cards has a private area that will be ours to use for the entire week; Mana Tide Games is generously giving us their whole store to use. We couldn’t be more thankful to our community partners!
What will my child be doing in camp?
While each camp is unique, our formula is similar throughout all of our programs: social gaming + fun learning activities = a literal happy camper. Our camps are focused on games and gaming, and so, naturally, your child will spend most of their time with their peers, making friends, and playing games. In between gaming, we provide lessons and activities to enhance and build on the skills your child will learn during camp.
We have complete agendas available for each camp, detailing all activities for the week:
- Kid’s Gaming Summer Camp 2017 Agenda
- Magic: The Gathering Summer Camp 2017 Agenda
- Writing Adventures Summer Camp 2017 Agenda
What kind of value do I get for this camp?
The camp is over, your child has had a blast; they have met new friends, they feel engaged to explore new learning opportunities, and they want to play more. Now what?! In addition to the benefits of the camp, your child will also receive a Game Changer t-shirt, a personalized Moleskine Game Changer “Adventure Journal,” and our Gamer Survival Kit, which includes free games, discounts at our partner stores, and information on how to keep playing games and stay connected to their friends and Game Changer when the camp is over! They can keep on exploring and playing even after the camps are over!
What if I still have some questions?
No problem! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer them.
- Dungeons and Dragons as a Literary Tool
- Board Games For Kids- Can They Teach Critical Thinking?
- The Benefits of Role-Playing Games, In Defense of Games
- The Greatness of Games
- 10 Reasons Why Role Playing Games are a Positive Force for Kids and Adults Alike
- Group Narration: Power, Information, and Play in Roleplaying Games
- Magic: The Gathering as a Social and Educational Learning Tool
- Benefits of Board Games