This January, I spent my eighth, and final, English camp at my school. As you can probably imagine, my well of geeky themes was running a bit dry. Months ago, I decided my Nintendo theme would beat out my Harry Potter one. We had done so much role-playing with Star Trek, LOTR, and superheroes, I figured Harry Potter would be too much of a retread. This time around, each team would be a different Nintendo franchise, and they would compete against each other to have their world host the Nintendo Olympics. That was a way to incorporate the camp project (presentation) into an Olympics’ bid-type activity. I borrowed that idea from one I gave to GYL for the 2015 programme (which I won’t be a part of).
To give you a sense of what we did in one fell swoop, here is the booklet I created for the teachers (a colleague, and myself). The individual student booklets differed, of course.
You can download everything here. However, Google Drive has all but destroyed the formatting of those documents. If you want, I can email stuff to you.
Wednesday’s 40 scavenger hunt missions were a crowd-pleaser. It was really balanced and nobody complained they couldn’t do something. On Thursday, they played Mario Kart 8 while blindfolded (as explained in the above booklet). While it was an awesome idea, I was a bit worried they would fight for control of the controllers. I needn’t have worried; the students who weren’t blindfolded did their best to direct the steering students and everyone was caught up in the moment (it was like the Stanley Cup finals).
It took a herculean effort to plan everything, and subtly direct the camp from within, but it was probably the most enjoyable group of students we’ve had at a camp thus far. Great chemistry all around.
I didn’t make a recap of the camp, because I was entirely too busy. I did, however, produce two different videos for it. Both illustrate the students doing their thing with each other, and should give you a fly on the wall perspective of what went down. I decided to give it a rawer feel, so none of it appears to be staged.
In this video, I try to interview each team as they design their cakes (on January 6th). I encouraged some of the students to just fool around, and make up their own answers to the questions. Others gave straight answers to the best of their abilities. The second half of the video is pretty much one long ‘take’, as I wasn’t paying attention to what the camera was doing. It offers an unfiltered glimpse on our camaraderie that day.
This video really serves as a sequel to the open class video I did two years ago. You’re basically with us as the students give their presentations to convince the judges their worlds are worthy to host the Olympics. We’ve been doing these kinds of presentations for years now, and I actually have recorded them. However, I never uploaded them to YouTube, because it’s a pain to edit. This time I decided to give it a go, in an effort to provide more open class footage. If you only have time to watch a part of the video, I recommend the Zelda team’s presentation at 25:35. Their presentation is pretty solid, and the ensuing Q&A session is amusing.
I didn’t cut anything out, so there are times when the camera bumps around (or dangles from my neck).
On the Friday we went skating, and some of us stuck around for an extra ninety minutes. I didn’t get any video of that, though.
All in all, a very enjoyable outing. Had a bit of an emotional crash afterwards, because I really enjoyed spending time with this group.