Camp Blog for Emagination Tech Camps | Tech Camps for Kids & Teens

What is Dorm Life Like at Summer Tech Camp?

While it can vary based on each camper’s specific situation, there’s typically one big reason behind them attending a summer tech camp – they want to learn a thing or two about something they’re passionate about! After all, that’s really the reason why we’re here – our goal is to inspire and empower the next generation as much as we can through technology.

That’s also why our curriculum has expanded as much as it has over the years. Campers can get exposed to a bunch of stuff within disciplines like digital art and media, coding, engineering, and video game design. If all of the courses available are totaled up, there are more than 20 different subjects within these disciplines that are taught at one of our five locations each summer (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania).

Our programs are two weeks long, which may seem like a long time, but there’s some flexibility in there, as well. For campers aged 8 to 17, there are day, full day, extended day, and overnight options available depending on what exactly you’re looking to get out of the upcoming tech camp experience.

Emagination Dorms

If you’re opting for an overnight camp experience, then you’ll obviously be sleeping in the dorms throughout your two weeks with us. If you’ve never done something like that before, it’s completely normal to feel a little uneasy about it. However, we’re here to make sure you don’t feel that way! The dorms at our camp locations are very nice and nothing like the dungeons you’d see in movies. Some are modern and fully air conditioned (which is super helpful in the middle of summertime), while also being equipped with WiFi that include lounges with video games to play.

A number of the dorm arrangements are suite style living, where you’ll be sharing a room with someone your age while also sharing a bathroom with other campers either in your suite or floor. We’ll do our best to match roommates, but there’s also a good chance you’ll be heading to camp with someone you already know. If you’d like to room with one another, all you have to do is request such a thing with us via email.

Being an overnight camper means you’ll have access to the Evening Programming on a nightly basis, which gives you a bunch of options when it comes to what you’d like to experience. If you want to do something structured, you can go out and participate in outdoor field games or open labs. However, there’s also the option for free dorm time, which allows you to just chill and hang out in your room, play board or card games in the lounge, or go grab something else to eat.

We can also assure you there is a huge emphasis on safety by our staff members. Counselors and staff are supervising overnight campers 24 hours a day during camp. Overnight campers aren’t allowed to leave campus, and when they’re walking around campus, they’re escorted by either counselors, Senior Campers, or Program Assistants.

So, if you’re considering an overnight camp experience and weren’t too sure about it because you’d have to stay in a dorm, don’t think of it as a drawback – it’s actually an advantage!

Interested in Coding Camps? There’s an Opportunity for Everyone

Trying to figure out which coding camp is the right fit for the upcoming year is a lengthy process! If someone is going to be sacrificing two weeks of their summer in order to experience some kind of camp for a subject they’re interested in, then they must make sure it at least appears like it’ll be a worthwhile thing to do.

We’re confident that your search for a top-notch coding camp experience will end once you see all we have to offer here at Emagination Tech Camps. As a family-owned business that’s been doing this since 1982, we know a thing or two about giving campers something to smile about as they start preparing for their future at a young age!

Emagination Coding Camp

There are five different locations for our coding camps, which includes Connecticut (Fairfield University), Georgia (Mercer University – Atlanta campus), Massachusetts (Bentley University), Pennsylvania (Rosemont College), and Illinois (Lake Forest College). Our camps – which have day and overnight options and are two weeks long – are open to campers aged 13 to 17 years old. There’s also an opportunity to mix in that “traditional” summer camp experienced with non-technology options like swimming or field games. Don’t worry, though, most of your experience will be tech focused – we’re just giving you the chance to mix in one recreational activity and customize your time with us a little bit.

That’s where there can be a little bit of an issue, though – the age restriction that our coding camp has. What if you’re younger than 13 years old and would still like to learn how to code? Well, we still have exciting options available for campers aged 8 to 17 years old through our tech camps. There are coding workshops available in Scratch, Python, Java, C++, and a lot more.

Having the chance to still participate in coding workshops in Java is incredibly valuable for campers at such a young age because it’s one of the most popular dynamic programming languages. This workshop helps campers develop the fundamentals in Java programming that’s needed to build different applications for things like Windows, XML web services, distributed components, and client server applications, among other things.

This type of foundational learning with Emagination can help set the stage for campers to explore other programming languages, too. This particular course at our tech camps is open to all ages and skill levels since the course itself is designed for participants to go at their own pace in learning the content. Plus, they’re more than welcome to take the course more than once if they didn’t progress as much as they were hoping to the first time around.

The software used is Java SDK and Eclipse IDE. Campers will learn programming logic and implementation, gain a solid foundation of programming skills, and have an idea on how to build cross-platform applications. At the end of it all, they’ll be able to walk away with a working Java application on their hands.

So, even if you’re not old enough to officially go to an Emagination Coding Camp, there’s still a way to get exposed to coding to see if it’s something you’d like to continue pursuing throughout your teenage years.

4 Special Events to Look Forward to at Video Game Design Camp

While it can vary based on each camper’s specific situation, there’s typically one big reason behind them attending a video game design camp in the summer – they want to learn a thing or two about something they’re passionate about! After all, that’s really the reason why we’re here – our goal is to inspire and empower the next generation as much as we can through technology.

That’s also why our curriculum has expanded as much as it has over the years. Campers can learn a bunch of stuff within disciplines like digital art and media, coding, engineering, and video game design. If all of the courses available are totaled up, there are more than 20 different subjects within these disciplines that are taught at one of our five locations each summer (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania).

Our programs are two weeks long, which may seem like a long time, but there’s some flexibility in there, as well. For campers aged 8 to 17, there are day, full day, extended day, and overnight options available depending on what exactly you’re looking to get out of the upcoming tech camp experience.

Although we pride ourselves on providing nothing but the best instruction with a dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate staff, we also realize that this is summer camp, and it’s supposed to be fun. There are plenty of campers – if not all — that will think all of the classroom experiences are fun, but that’s not the only reason behind a successful summer video game design camp. We purposely go beyond the classroom to encourage social interaction, participation, and fun.

Summer Camp Fun at Emagination

There are four special events in particular that happen at each of our camps that video game design enthusiasts can look forward to seeing and participating in.

Theme Days
Everybody can appreciate a good theme, right? Sometimes, that’s all we need to turn a good day into a great day. We have theme days at our camps, and whether you’re dressing up as your favorite video game character for Character Con or repping your favorite sports team in a ridiculous way, theme days seem to make our campers smile a little wider than usual.

LARPing
Want to participate in mock battles with fellow campers? Then this is your opportunity to build a foam battle sword before taking someone on. You can join a team or go one-on-on by playing as a Jedi, Pirate, or Knight of the Realm to see if you have what it takes to come away victorious.

Super Saturday
This is just an epic day of outdoor games, gaming tournaments, and delicious BBQ food that everyone loves – including overnight campers, day campers, and camp counselors.

Lazy Sunday
While video game design camp is super fun, it can also be exhausting. Sometimes, you need a little break from a rather structured schedule, which is what lazy Sundays provide our campers. You have a chance to sleep late and hang out with your new friends anywhere you want on campus. There’s even a Tech Olympics that takes place to test your skills in programming, Photoshop, and Minecraft.

Here’s How You Can Customize Your Summer Tech Camp Experience

If your child loves technology and wants to spend part of their summer surrounded by it, then you’ve stopped at the right place. Emagination Tech Camps started with humble beginnings in Massachusetts, but we’ve stood the test of time since being founded all the way back in 1982.

We’re proud to be doing what we’ve done for so long, especially as a family-owned company that’s accredited by the American Camp Association at our Connecticut and Massachusetts locations. Our mission for camps every single summer is to educate, entertain, and help develop healthy kids and teens. This is done by carefully finding the balance between learning about technology and offering activities and the lifetime benefits of your typical summer camp experience.

Emagination Tech Camps - Tech and Rec

We offer tech camp options at centrally located college campuses in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. We know that you’re spending part of your summer with us to up your game in the tech world, and we have plenty of options for that. However, this is still summer camp, and we want to make sure you have a chance to unplug from your laptop and smartphone for a little bit in order to enjoy the “typical” summer camp experience.

Emagination Tech Camps - Tech and Rec

But maybe not everyone wants to do that! Everybody is a little different, and we want to empower our campers to take charge of their experience and customize it in a way that really gets them excited. That’s why we allow campers to build their schedule by either choosing three tech courses (out of 22 total options) and one recreational activity (out of four choices), which is commonly known as “Tech & Rec”. This is the most popular path chosen by Emagination Tech Campers.

The second option is the “All Tech” route, which eliminates the recreational activity. Instead of taking just three tech courses in order to accommodate the rec activity, students who choose this path can simply choose four tech courses they’d like to participate in. Students who go on this path must add $95 of tuition to what is already seen on the website.

So, what are the tech topics and the courses within those topics? We’re glad you asked! There are four different general topics where these 22 courses can land within. If you’re interested in Digital Art & Media, there are classes like the following:

Then there’s Engineering, which houses the following course topics:

Next is the ever-popular Coding, which includes the following courses:

Finally, there’s Video Game Design, a topic that has these courses offered:

And if you’re considering taking the Tech and Rec path, there are a handful of recreation activities to choose from, which includes swimming, field games, indoor games, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Information You Need to Know About Summer Coding Camp

Trying to figure out which coding camp is the right fit for the upcoming year is a lengthy process! If someone is going to be sacrificing two weeks of their summer in order to experience some kind of camp for a subject they’re interested in, then they must make sure it at least appears like it’ll be a worthwhile thing to do.

We’re confident that your search for a top-notch coding camp experience will end once you see everything we have to offer here at Emagination Tech Camps. As a family-owned business that’s been doing this since 1982, we know a thing or two about giving campers something to smile about as they start preparing for their future at a young age!

There are five different locations for our coding camps, which includes Connecticut (Fairfield University), Georgia (Mercer University – Atlanta campus), Massachusetts (Bentley University), Pennsylvania (Rosemont College), and Illinois (Lake Forest College). Our camps – which have day and overnight options and are two weeks long – are open to campers aged 13 to 17 years old. There’s also an opportunity to mix in that “traditional” summer camp experienced with non-technology options like swimming or field games. Don’t worry, though, most of your experience will be tech focused – we’re just giving you the chance to mix in one recreational activity and customize your time with us a little bit.

Emagination Coding Camp

We’ve already detailed the dates, times, location, and prices of our 2020 summer coding camps, but what other information do you need to know about us before committing to join us? Knowing about the following three areas will definitely help.

Participate in a Progressive Curriculum
Regardless of age, campers typically join us at camp from all different skill levels. And it makes sense that they’re joining us because they want to advance those skill levels! We make sure to put together a professional curriculum that doesn’t leave you behind if you don’t have certain foundational skills that are needed to move on and successfully complete the class you’re in.

If you arrive at an Emagination Coding Camp with prior coding experience, our curriculum will help sharpen your Java coding skills, along with building applications. If you haven’t had prior coding experience, the skill you’ll learn at camp serve as a great foundation upon which campers can build applications and continue learning.

Acquire Valuable 21st Century Life Skills
Our coding camps help campers learn how to code or how to code more effectively than they were in the past, but that’s not it. You can be a great coder, but you’ll get to the next level when you learn how to combine that with knowing how to build rapport with your team and developing relationships.

Learn from Passionate and Intelligent Counselors
We’re not making campers try and figure this stuff out themselves – our counselors are there every step of the way to oversee camper progress as they develop their final windows application projects. Counselors also encourage campers to offer create input and get to know other campers. Once applications are complete, they can be shared with peers, which can lead to feedback, testing, and debugging.

How Many Different Kinds of Tech Camps Are Available?

While it can vary based on each camper’s specific situation, there’s typically one big reason behind them attending a summer tech camp – they want to learn a thing or two about something they’re passionate about! After all, that’s really the reason why we’re here – our goal is to inspire and empower the next generation as much as we can through technology.

That’s also why our curriculum has expanded as much as it has over the years. Campers can learn a bunch of stuff within disciplines like digital art and media, coding, engineering, and video game design. If all of the courses available are totaled up, there are more than 20 different subjects within these disciplines that are taught at one of our five locations each summer (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania).

Our programs are two weeks long, which may seem like a long time, but there’s some flexibility in there, as well. For campers aged 8 to 17, there are day, full day, extended day, and overnight options available depending on what exactly you’re looking to get out of the upcoming tech camp experience.

Emagination Tech Camps

There aren’t a ton of differences between these different camp offerings when it comes to the daily schedule, although it’s rather obvious that overnight campers are on campus continuously for the duration of camp, while day campers are only on for certain periods of time depending on what they’ve enrolled in.

Overnight Camps
Since Overnight Campers aren’t allowed to leave campus at any time during their Emagination Camp experience, we’re sure to give them periods of downtime. They may like how structured the days are, but most kids like to have some time to unwind and just do whatever they want.

With that in mind, overnight campers have free dorm time from 4:15 to 5:30p each afternoon after going through each of their daily activities and classes. This gives them an opportunity to decompress before going to dinner and engaging in any evening activities that are available. If you’re an overnight camper that’s sticking around for multiple sessions, you can take an off-campus trip on the weekend after one session ends and before the next one starts.

Day Camps
For those who would rather spend nights in the comfort of their own bed (can’t blame you there!), Day Campers begin their day after getting dropped off. They have plenty of time to play video games, play outside, hang with new camp friends, or work on projects during their time here. Depending on how long you’ll be staying with us each day will also dictate what type and how many meals you’ll be eating on campus.

How Drop Off and Pickup Times Differ
For Overnight Campers, they will begin their experience on Sunday at drop off and the fun won’t stop until Friday afternoon two weeks later. Day Campers get dropped off between 8:30 and 8:45am and get picked up between 4:30 and 5:30pm. When on campus, they’ll eat lunch with the rest of their camp friends.

Extended Day Campers get dropped off between 8:00 and 8:30am and get picked up between 6 and 6:15pm. They eat lunch and dinner during their time with us. As for Full Day Campers, they get dropped off between 7:30 and 8:00am and get picked up between 7:30 and 7:45pm, and also eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner during their time on campus.

6 Ways Our Tech Camps Go Beyond the Classroom

While it can vary based on each camper’s specific situation, there’s typically one big reason behind them attending a summer tech camp – they want to learn a thing or two about something they’re passionate about! After all, that’s really the reason why we’re here – our goal is to inspire and empower the next generation as much as we can through technology.

That’s also why our curriculum has expanded as much as it has over the years. Campers can learn a bunch of stuff within disciplines like digital art and media, coding, engineering, and video game design. If all of the courses available are totaled up, there are more than 20 different subjects within these disciplines that are taught at one of our five locations each summer (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania).

Our programs are two weeks long, which may seem like a long time, but there’s some flexibility in there, as well. For campers aged 8 to 17, there are day, full day, extended day, and overnight options available depending on what exactly you’re looking to get out of the upcoming tech camp experience.

Although we pride ourselves on providing nothing but the best technology instruction with a dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate staff, we also realize that this is summer camp, and it’s supposed to be fun. There are plenty of campers – if not all — that will think all of the classroom experiences are fun, but that’s not the only reason behind a successful summer tech camp. We purposely go beyond the classroom to encourage social interaction, participation, and fun.

Emagination - Summer Camp Fun

Here are six different ways we make that goal a reality each year:

Unstructured Play Time
It’s good to have a solidified schedule, but there needs to be some flexibility within it – these campers are kids, you know! At lunch time, they have an hour to do whatever they want, whether it includes taking a nap, catching up with friends, or creating something.

Camper Groups
Every single day of camp starts with an all-camp meeting for not only announcements, but also group games and recognition awards.

Theme Day
For Character Con, campers are tasked with dressing up as either their favorite video game, fantasy, or sci-fi character.

Super Saturday
This obviously includes overnight campers, but day campers are also invited! Teams of both campers and counselors have an opportunity to play different outdoor games, participate in gaming tournaments, and enjoy some BBQ cooking. This fun-filled day ends with a movie night and LAN Party for Senior Campers.

Evening Program
Overnight and Full Day Campers have the opportunity to choose between open labs, field games, indoor games, Larping, free dorm time, and more after they have dinner.

Evening Talent Show
On the last evening of camp, counselors and campers put on skits and share their talents with the new friends they’ve made over the previous two weeks. Day campers are also invited to this event.

Why You Should Consider Working at a Summer Tech Camp

Are you passionate about digital media, computers, and information technology and are looking for a fun way to spend your summer? If you’re a recent college graduate or are currently enrolled in college and you enjoy working with kids, then spending your summer with Emagination Tech Camps might be the perfect fit!

Especially if you’re studying a related field, this is a great resume builder as you’re just starting out on your professional journey. There are a number of different positions that are available each year, including camp counselors, leadership staff, information technology staff, and healthcare staff.

We’re always looking for people interested in empowering the next generation through technology. Check out this video about Emagination Camps and be sure to check out our openings here and be ready when our 2020 hiring process gets underway.

If we’ve piqued your interest and want to learn more, here are five reasons why we can help you succeed.

Working at Emagination Tech Camps

Pre-Camp Communication
Be on high alert when it comes to checking your email or our staff groups on social media because we make sure there’s plenty of communication flowing back and forth before camp starts, and most definitely because you even arrive, which is also well before camp starts.

Blending Your Abilities with Our Plan
You will already be joining us because you have the tech skills necessary to help campers take their learning to the next level. If you’re teaching a class, though, we don’t just throw you to the wolves. Bring your tech skills and knowledge of the software that you’ll be using in class and we’ll give you the blueprint to follow by way of a professional curriculum.

Pre-Camp Training
The week before campers arrive, you’ll already be on campus getting an in-person training and orientation. Again, we don’t just make you try and figure things out on your own – we’re here to help you as much as possible! There will be an opportunity to run through your curriculum, so you won’t be performing it for the first time with campers in the room. Other topics we’ll touch on during our training include how to teach kids and manage a classroom (which is helpful if you’ve never done it before!), the daily schedule, behavior management, and safety and emergency procedures.

Constant Support
Our training continues even after the official orientation is over and the campers have arrived on campus. The corporate staff is dedicated to supporting each of the camps and making sure they’re all successful, which starts with having an experienced leadership team available to help that come to pass.

Experienced Team Members
Speaking of experienced team members, a lot of our leadership staff returns to work camp each year, and on many occasions, our counselors once went through the program as a camper themselves a few years before. Although we’ve been around for a long time, we’re well aware that nothing is perfect. Our goal remains to put on the best camp we possibly can and find ways to make the upcoming year better than the year that immediate came before it.

Where Are the Best 2020 Tech Camps Located?

While Emagination Tech Camps have been around for more than 30 years, some people may be surprised that our summer camp locations are still only limited to five different spots. In this particular case, it’s important to focus on quality instead of quantity. We’ve been proud to host people from all over – whether they lived a few towns over from one of our locations or halfway across the world.

If you’re coming from further away – especially as an overnight camper – then we’re happy to help with your transportation experience in order to get you on campus! We pick up and drop off overnight campers from airports, railroad stations, and bus terminals. That doesn’t mean we don’t help day campers, too, though. We assist those families with carpools and also offer daily train station service in Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

So, what exactly about these locations makes them the best spots for summer tech camps? Let’s get into some of the fun details to help you see the light.


Emagination Tech Camp - Fairfield University

Connecticut – Fairfield University
Fairfield University is perfect from a location perspective because it’s not only in a quiet suburban area of New England, but it’s also centrally located to all towns in Fairfield County and New York City. It doesn’t hurt that it’s nearby I-95 and the Metro North train (New Haven line).

Fairfield has a dedicated academic building that serves as the hub for all technology learning during our two-week camps. Thanks to having an expansive campus with plenty of green areas, there are also lots of opportunities for students to take advantage of unplugging from their computers for a few minutes, too. Throw in a renovated campus center with a state-of-the-art food court and dorms that are a short walk from the main academic building, and it’s the best-case scenario.


Emagination Tech Camp - Mercer University - Atlanta Campus

Georgia – Mercer University – Atlanta Campus
Having an Atlanta location makes it easy for any family in the southeast area of the United States to come and experience what an Emagination Tech Camp is really like. The 200-acre campus is perfectly maintained, once again giving students plenty of opportunities to take advantage of some outside time. However, it is Atlanta and it’s the summer, so since it gets hot, there’s also an indoor pool and gym for those who don’t want to sweat all that much.

Similar to Fairfield, the technology camp workshops at Mercer are centrally located in one main academic building, as well.


Emagination Tech Camp - Lake Forest College

Illinois – Lake Forest College
Once again, this location is very accessible for people coming from different areas, as Lake Forest is situated just outside of Chicago. The campus center is where all of the technology learning takes place for all of our camps, which is super convenient because there is a newly renovated food court in this same building. Mere feet away is a huge green area for campers to enjoy some outdoor games, and if they’d rather go for a swim, that can be done in the campus gym. It’s also not a bad deal for overnight campers since they’ll be staying suite-style dorms that are fully air conditioned.


Emagination Tech Camp - Bentley University

Massachusetts – Bentley University
Situated less than 10 miles outside of Boston, Bentley University is a unique location because while it’s a business university, it’s the perfect spot for our summer tech camp and game design camp. Classes are held in the Smith Technology Center, which houses high-tech interactive amphitheater style classrooms.


Emagination Tech Camp - Rosemont College

Pennsylvania – Rosemont College
Just outside of historic Philadelphia, Rosemont College is yet another beautiful suburban campus that’s easily accessible for campers and gives them everything they need to have an incredible summer tech camp experience. Connelly Hall is the dedicated area for our classes, which is convenient because they’re set up with computer labs.

5 Elements That Lead to a Successful Summer Computer Camp

We know how much of a commitment it is to sign your son or daughter up to join one of our two-week computer camps each summer. With that in mind, we do everything possible to make the experience as good as it can possibly be – from the process it takes to actually register all the way to checking out on the final day of camp.

What exactly makes a successful computer camp, though? How is that measured? Obviously, the best way to measure whether a camp has been successful is to listen to the campers who just went through it. If they felt like they learned a lot while also having a lot of fun, then our job is complete! We’ve been proud to do exactly that as a family-owned business for the last 30-plus years.

In order to watch campers head home with a smile on their faces at the end of camp, there are five specific areas that we pay attention to that’s helped us conduct successful camps for so long.

Emagination Camp Staff

Passionate Staff
It’s no fun to learn something that you’re really passionate about from someone who doesn’t really care for the subject. We spend a lot of time making sure the right staff is put in place to help our campers have the best experience possible. There are two specific requirements all of our counselors must have to work with Emagination Camps each summer: a passion for computers and digital technologies and a love for working with kids. Our counselors are also either recent college graduates or current college students who are studying computer science, digital art, information technologies, game design, or some other related field.

No Online Instruction
The whole point of attending a summer computer camp is to get an experience, and it’s really hard to get the true experience of working with someone who is passionate in the field if you’re taking an online course. We have professionally developed curriculums in place for counselors to teach because it’s the most effective way to make connections with campers and really help them take their learning to the next level.

Holding High Standards
Our process for selecting counselors is actually more involved than many people might realize. It’s important to us because, well, counselors are the ones making the most contact with campers and impacting their experience on a daily basis. We don’t just accept any application that comes our way. We actually recruit from different higher education institutions and eventually choose a team that meets our standards after a series of interviews with management team members.

The goal is to find people who are strong in technology and have had experience working with children, and everyone must have a background check done while also providing references.

Pre-Camp Training
All Emagination Camp counselors arrive at camp before the campers do for on-site training and orientation that we’ve perfected over the past three decades. We spend time teaching counselors how to handle certain situations, like when a camper is home sick, any particular emergency situations, and common camper behavioral issues.

Low Staff-to-Camper Ratio
It’s hard to make an impact on campers without an opportunity for individual attention, which is why we’re proud of our 1:7 staff-to-camper ratio. Our workshops range from 5-10 campers, allowing counselors to nurture the growth and development of campers one at a time.

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