Key elements of a camp

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.