At Connected Camps, we understand that as a parent you want to support your kid’s interests and connect them with others who share those same passions, all while ensuring that their learning, too. Kid Club in Minecraft is the perfect place to do all of these things. Kid Club is a free, family-friendly, multiplayer Minecraft server where kids enjoy creating and building, engaging with their peers, making friends, and learning all while being guided by experienced counselors who themselves love Minecraft.
In Kid Club, kids engage with the many different aspects of Minecraft. They create magnificent works of art, design gigantic structures, understand the necessities required for survival, compete in friendly one-on-one competitions, and much more. But diving below the surface shows that Minecraft is about much more than just a pixelated world of blocks. As part of Kid Club activities, kids engage one another as part of a team. They learn to work together and within a hierarchy to successfully complete tasks. They share responsibilities and understand their strengths and weaknesses. These are all useful skills for many STEM and creative careers, and kids develop them while doing something they really enjoy.
Of course, kids are not conquering these challenges alone. Our experienced, college-aged counselors are facilitating, guiding, and mentoring kids during all of our Kid Club activities. This isn’t just another job for our counselors. Our counselors have played Minecraft for many years, and are truly passionate about the game and mentoring kids. One counselor is currently studying informatics with a focus on the development of educational fields and how to better teach kids. Another counselor is studying game design at New York University while another recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Interactive Games and Media. Kids look up to our counselors and view them as role models. They can see how these young adults are working to connect their passion for Minecraft, gaming, and design with their future careers.
But our counselors are more than mentors, they also design Kid Club activities where kids are continually engaged and learning. One recent event that the kids really enjoyed was a puzzle-action quest complete with epic battles and a narrative. Another was a build challenge for the International Space Station that included labs, sleeping quarters, pet accommodations, solar panelling, and communications antenna.
Many of our best activities are spontaneously generated by the kids and counselors while they are working together in the game. That’s how our Glowstone University began. It now includes classrooms built by each kid and a bookstore.
Minecraft rewards concentration and focus and requires problem solving skills. We design our Kid Club activities with skill development in mind. For example, you can’t survive a night in Survival Mode if you haven’t solved for shelter, food, and protection. And, you can’t build a massive structure like a Mayan Sky Temple if you didn’t create a blueprint before you started construction.
Oftentimes, proficiency levels differ widely amongst players, and we think that adds an important element to Kid Club activities. We design activities to engage both newbies as well as experts while still remaining fun for everyone. For example, a lot of newbies wouldn’t know how to use redstone, but we still want them to be able to participate in an event like our Redstone Dungeon Design Workshop. So, we make sure that our counselors seek out those kids and give them one-on-one attention. Our events have a mix of kids who are newbies and experts, which allows for excellent collaboration and mentoring amongst peers.
While we have different planned activities for kids to engage in, we also understand that part of the fun of Minecraft is that it’s limitless. So, free play is also incorporated into Kid Club to ensure that kids can let their imaginations soar. (Of course, free plays always includes counselor supervision.) Often during free play, kids will chat amongst themselves and decide to work together as a team on a common interest, such as an Olympic-size swimming pool.
When working with kids, it is important that Minecraft be used to its fullest potential. We think Kid Club meets that mark! It fosters a vibrant community where kids can play and learn at the same time, develop meaningful friendships with shared interests, and connect with mentors who are passionate about those same interests.