A computer camp is a summer camp which focuses on computer instruction. These camps usually operate on college campuses during the summer months due to the availability of housing, computer labs, and dining facilities. Campers are usually between 8–18 years old.
Computer camps teach courses in a wide range of subjects such as hardware, networking, programming, game design, image manipulation, video production, web design, robotics, A+ and Network+ certification preparation, and software applications including office and productivity suites, HTML and web editors, video editors, and 3D and 2D animation and graphics programs. Although computers are the main focus, camps also offer sports and recreation programs.
Computer camps began to appear in the United States in the late 1970s. "Computer Camp" is the brainchild of Michael Zabinski, Ph.D. who coined the phrase in 1978 when he started National Computer Camps. Some of the original computer camps focused exclusively on computers and related technology, while others such as Emagination Computer Camps, formerly Computer-Ed High Tech Camps, included traditional camping activities like horseback riding, canoeing and campfires. Since then, many computer camps have opened, some of them operated by large companies in multiple locations with iD Tech Camps being the largest as measured by number of locations and attendees. Public institutions also sponsor computer camps, one example being Camp CAEN, hosted annually by the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.
Current examples of computer camps include:
- KTByte Massachusetts Computer Camp
- National Computer Camps
- ThinkBig Computer Camps
- iD Tech Camps
- Camp CAEN
- Digital Media Academy
- BIG IDEA
- MSI Computer Camps
- Western State Colorado University Computer Camp
- Camp Fitch Computer Camp - North Springfield PA - since 1980
- The World Inside The Computer: New Directions For Computer Camps COMPUTE! Issue 46, March 1984, Page 132
- Allen's Guide List
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