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Typical Day: Video Game Creation Programs:

Computer enrichment programs typically have two longer sessions with a snack break in between during each half day session. Each student will have a computer to work from. Instructors will direct them step by step in creating their games. Students then can take a second computer course, or a 1/2 day chess program to make an All Day session.

ALL Day Sessions:

All day campers will follow the same format in the second half day, with an hour-long lunch/recess break. Snacks and drinks are provided during break time. Students attending the all-day session should bring a lunch that does not require refrigeration- we prefer lunches without nut products. Active Learning Services does not provide extended care, although many host schools offer extended care as part of their summer programs. Parents should contact the host school directly to find out what programs are available.

Video Game Creation Camp Descriptions:

New for 2016! Modding, Networking and Hosting with Minecraft

Ages 8 – 13, Introductory to Intermediate

Minecraft is hugely popular because it’s collaborative, open-ended and moddable. Our program preserves those qualities and adds a large dose of fun! The week begins with learning the game, controls, recipes and a bit about hosting & networking. Next campers are connecting to different worlds hosted on our secure server and experimenting with character skins, mods and custom maps. By day three the kids are building in the Active Learning World that grows over time. Whether adding a room, building a moat or even creating a chessboard the possibilities are nearly limitless. This is a half-day program. Students can add an additional program to make it a full day camp.

Video Game Creation 3D Concepts

Ages 9 – 16, Intermediate to Advanced

New for 2016! Children with prior experience with GameMaker software or are at least 10 years old will learn the principals used in making 3D style games while creating their own “home base defense games”. Lessons include the principles of perspective, scale, infinity and other concepts. Students are challenged while allowing them to creatively apply their GameMaker skills and learn how game designers make the 2D computer screen come to life with 3D effects. This is a full day program.

Video Game Creation – Arcade Style

Ages 8 – 16, Introductory to Intermediate

The Arcade course is a program where the game that is created has action for each level all on one screen similar to Centipede, Asteroids, or Pac Man. The main character (which the children create) can be anything. Other characters (enemies) pursue the main character from off the screen or move about the screen. The character dodges the attacks of the enemies while scoring points for picking up objects and destroying the enemy objects. Options are endless and children create level after level for a full week of fun. This is a half-day program. Students can add an additional program to make it a full day camp.

Video Game Creation – Platform Style

Ages 8 – 16, Introductory to Intermediate

In this camp children build a game described as a “platform” game like Sonic or Mario. Children have a blast as their characters do the impossible, overcome obstacles and enemies and then conquer the Big Boss. The character progresses on a long path (like a journey) with the background scrolling behind it and adversaries, prizes, obstacles, are encountered as it goes. Lessons on the basics will be similar to the Arcade course in the very beginning, but the class diverges and different programming techniques are taught in order to build this Platform game. This is a half-day program. Students can add an additional program to make it a full day camp.

Kodu Video Game Creation Go Kart Style

Ages 8 – 16, Introductory to Intermediate

Children will create something similar to a Mario Go-Kart style game. What fun! Campers begin by designing their own world. Worlds can have mountains, valleys, lakes, hills, etc. or they can be a design unlike anything you have ever seen before. It’s totally up to them! Next they place characters into the world and program them to move about, interacting with other characters, even talking using scripts written for the characters.They can program characters to pick up objects, engage opponents, and overcome villains. Children will use their creativity as they build a world full of racing tasks. Whether it is collecting enough diamonds before time expires, navigating through the challenging obstacle course, or racing against a friend they are sure to have fun! This is a half-day program. Students can add an additional program to make it a full day camp.

Kodu Video Game Creation Adventure Style

Ages 8 – 16, Introductory to Intermediate

Children will have the option of creating a video game on a Microsoft computer or learning how to program using a Microsoft Xbox controller! Students will create their own cool custom world and navigate through it. Within this world they will create tasks that need to be completed in order to progress to the next level. Some of those tasks include escaping a maze created by the student, a survival mode, outwitting rivals, creating decoys and collecting bonus items ! This is a half-day camp. Xbox controller is optional and supplied by the student. Students can add an additional program to make it a full day camp.

Scratch – Animation

Ages 8 – 16, Introductory to Intermediate

Students are introduced to programming by creating short story animated movies with a focus on fun. Campers will create animated stories using the Scratch animated programming tool which allows them to program interactions between characters. They will use a gallery of characters, scenery and custom animations that are designed to help develop their story. The students will learn basic programming skills and have the opportunity broaden their imagination. This is a half-day program. Students can add an additional program to make it a full day camp.

Graduation Day:

The final day of camp is Graduation Day. Parents have the opportunity to observe a lesson, or your child’s computer program creation. Each camper is then called forward to receive a trophy and a certificate of achievement. Chess campers also receive a chessboard and pieces and a folder full of work completed throughout the week. Computer enrichment campers will receive information on how to download their games and software from our website.


The USAChess chess camp is for chess campers of all abilities from 5-15. In most camps we will have enough students for groupings by ability. Thus, younger inexperienced chess players will be grouped together for chess lessons, practice and play. Older children will learn more advanced lessons and concepts.


Snacks and juice will be provided at the camp during snack time, however lunch is not. Campers are required to bring a complete lunch of their own if attending all day. Refrigeration of lunches will not be available. If your child has specific allergies you will be given the opportunity to describe these allergies in the forms emailed to you upon completion of registration. Since peanut allergies are wide-spread, we attempt to purchase snacks that do not contain nut products. However if your child has an extremely severe allergy of any kind, we recommend that they bring their own snacks to camp.

Disciplinary Policy

We do not anticipate any disciplinary problems during the camp, but we still must set standards. A USAChess Camp Code of Conduct is provided to set the standard. If a disciplinary problem arises within the camp, the camper will receive one warning and a phone call home to their parents. If a second disciplinary problem arises, that camper could be expelled from the camp without any financial credit. If a campers behavior becomes so severe or endangers other campers, immediate expulsion from camp without phone calls, warnings, or financial credit may be necessary.


Our staff is comprised of the best hand-picked children’s chess instructors in North America and our computer enrichment staff is specifically trained to teach the software and curriculum. We feel so strongly about our instructors’ abilities that we fly them to each of our camps from their home cities. Our selection process for instructors is highly competitive. In addition to in-person meetings, interviews and classroom observation, we conduct thorough background checks to ensure that only the best instructors are part of our team. Teaching children is their passion and their enthusiasm is infectious.

Cancelation/Change Policy

A full refund minus a $25 service fee is given if cancelation request is received 30 days before camp. After this, refunds will not be given. If a child is sick and is unable to attend the camp, a doctors note is required for a refund minus service fee to be given. Switching sessions or camps is permitted based on space available. There will be a $25 change fee accessed for any change.

Parent-Only Class

Join us on Tuesday the week of your USA Chess camp for our parent-only class. Parents who have never played chess before will learn the basic rules and opening tactics. For parents who know about chess, our chess camp instructors will review opening principals, discuss tactics and strategies will be discussed. When: Tuesdays 2:00pm – 4:00pm (some camps may be too small to accommodate the parent class). Cost: $29 Where: Camp Location