Play to Learn and Learn to Play – www.TheGameAcademy.ORG
I have had the awesome opportunity to be the photographer for a local non-profit, @gameacademy for the last 3 years. Joshua and Bert have created an amazing summer camp for kids who love adventure gaming. What is adventure gaming?? “It’s a collaborative, storytelling experience that encourages academic and social/emotional skills in children ages 8-18 through tabletop role=playing games.” The games are complex and it takes a smart child to be able to understand and process all of the information. It’s a made-up story that creates incredible visualizations for these children in their minds. It’s like reading a great action-adventure book, where you’re one of the characters and get to participate in the story.
They have outside time and craft time during the day and provide healthy snacks in between. Some of these kids would never spend time outside if they didn’t have to but at this camp, they play fun games that they truly enjoy. And because they’re surrounded by other children like themselves, they connect with and have fun with the other campers.
The crafts coincide with the game that is being played for the week. It’s kind of like an anthology series because each week is a different theme with the same underlying structure.
The week I photographed this year was “Fantasy Adventure”. The game system was Dungeons & Dragons with the title of: Ravinica: The House of Bright Blades. I honestly have no idea what that all means but I’m sure some of you do!
The craft that went along with this week was to make foam weaponry and items of magical wonder. Now, tell me, if you had a kid that was into this kind of thing….the is the BEST camp EVER!!!!
Joshua and Bert co-founded the camp and Joshua’s wife Julia is the amazing camp director. They have a great staff of gamers and kids who help keep the mystery alive throughout the day. They even have a program that trains the older campers to become counselors once they’ve aged out of attending the camp themselves.
It’s such a wonderful idea and place for children who may not feel like they have a place. I absolutely LOVE being a part of this team to tell their visual story so people can have a better understanding of who they are and what they offer the community.
If you have a child who loves adventure gaming, who might not want to play outside but who wants to be social and create some super cool projects over the summer…THIS is the place to be.
OH, and they offer a year-round program for the kids that just don’t get enough over the summer. It’s an after-school program that “fosters skills such as empathy, creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.” How cool is that??!!
Check out their site: The Game Academy and “Play to Learn and Learn to Play!!”
Follow them on Instagram Here: https://www.instagram.com/thegameacademyorg/