The key elements in a camp are:
- Typically 20-50 students and teachers.
- Move classes to a facility outside of campus.
- 48 hours (or less)
- Cross-curricular groups
- Work intensively on developing new ideas and concepts to solve a given challenge.
- External participants like business leaders, experts etc. Involved in 1) defining the challenge, 2) work with students in groups, 3) evaluate ideas and solutions.
- A camp leader is in charge of the overall process.
- Facilitators assist each group.
- Camp leaders and facilitators are in charge of creating a cooperative, lively and intensive atmosphere.
- The challenge is well defined, but details about the programme is kept secret before the camp.
- Put time pressure on participants to increase focus and produce results.
- Block or avoid communication with the outside world, like friends and family.
Depending on time and on the challenge camps can have a different focus. Some camps will focus on the early creative process and on generating a lot of ideas, while other camps will focus on developing actual solutions and concepts.
Camps have been held in many different ways, but some of the common principles are:
- Diversity increases the level of innovation. Diversity can be obtained through diversity among group members, but also by involving experts.
- Horisontal thinking – the ability to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- Alternating between creative ideation processes and more logical and structured concept development and evaluation.
- Problem Based Learning where you focus on a problem, not a topic.
- Experience Based Learning, where you learn through action and reflection on observations.
- Facilitating learning processes – facilitators are not experts content, but in facilitating processes and stimulating energy and focus in groups.