Posted by Nora Richter

That’s a wrap on another awesome summer of tech camps in Toronto!

Who would have guessed coding could be so much fun? We did. This summer, we set out to help kids build digital literacy skills in a way that’s exciting and accessible: Cue 20 laptops, lots of cool programming tools, HUNDREDS of stickers and 8 awesome weeks of summer camp.

Campers solving a problem with their code with the help of their mentor

Campers solving a problem in their code with the help of their mentor

Many of our learners came to camp with no coding experience. Their relationship with technology was built entirely on consumption- using pre-existing programs to play games, do homework and watch videos. In one week of camp, just 5 days, our goal was to introduce learners to a world where they could build technology to fit their needs, instead of adapting their needs to fit the technology.

Campers showing us their Scratch game

Campers showing us their Scratch game

Each camp that we hosted had a different theme: in Gamemaking Camp we built video games, in Webmaking we built websites, in Digital Design we rebranded an organization, and in Entrepreneurship we created startups. In each of these camps, the kids were guided by volunteer instructors and mentors in completing their projects from start to finish. The end result was AMAZING.

Finding videos to put on the websites they built

Finding videos to put on the websites they built

As always, we were blown away by what a group of 7-13 year olds could create in just a few days. With a little bit of team work and a lot of perseverance, the 280+ campers we served this summer each walked away from their camp experience having built a website, and completed a whole bunch of amazing projects including building games, logos, info graphics, products, business cards and much more. It’s safe to say we had a productive summer!

Working together to design a logo for their new startup

Working together to design a logo for their new startup

Probably our favorite part of each week was spreading love to our friends old and new. At each camp, every camper, volunteer, staff and sponsor decorated a paper bag. Throughout the week, we filled each other’s bags with notes and crafts to show how much we appreciated each other. Our bags collected warm fuzzies all week, and we weren’t allowed to peek. Arguably the best part of the week was diving into our warm fuzzy bag at the end of the day on Friday and feeling all kinds of love from the people we shared our week with.

Campers using logic to solve fun puzzles

Campers using logic to solve fun puzzles

This summer, in 6 weeks, we ran 8 camps at 4 venues, with 9 field trips, reaching over 280 campers, with 100+ volunteers and 22 corporate partners. It was a summer of learning, adventures, and most importantly lots of laughs. We are so grateful for everyone who helped to make this summer possible, including our generous supporters:

  • For the financial support that made our camps possible: Amazon, Citi, Fiix, League, NSERC, TELUS and Ubisoft
  • For funding our scholarship program making our camps accessible to everyone: Georgian Partners and the Canadian Tech @ Scale Conference presented by Shopify, Pivotal Labs and Grossman Dorland Recruiting
  • For hosting our camps and field trips: Amazon, Autodesk, CIBC, DMZ, Ecobee, FreshBooks, Google, League, MaRS (who hosted a whopping 6 of the 8 weeks of camp for us!), Nuvango, Sandbox, Scotiabank and Ubisoft
  • For volunteering as mentors and instructors at our camps: Amazon, Cisco, Citi, Fiix, FreshBooks, Georgian Partners, League, Scotiabank and TELUS

We’re ready for a short nap, and then can’t wait to get started planning for next year!

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