Summer Adventure Camps in New York 2020
Step into a world of swords and sorcery, catapults and castles, mythical heroes and legendary beasts!
Be initiated into an ancient and esteemed House of The Realm and jump into live-action adventure gaming! Build your own arms and armor! Create your own culture and histories! Defend your lands from monsters and opposing Houses! Construct gigantic castles, labyrinths and fortified cities! Battle on trails, fields and shorelines as you seek out lost relics of power! Tell a hundred stories by your word and deed in the most enchanting, wooded and mystical parks across the metro region!
Adventures in Cardboard seeks to re-inspire creative outdoor play by immersing participants in fantastic worlds that they help to create.
Our camps are places that demand the use of legs and feet as much as hands and head, where artist-instructors seek to unleash a zeal for creative role-playing, and where “wonder” is the preferred path to igniting a passion for design, construction and playful exploration of the natural world.
Our mythical realm is a dangerous place, but our camps are safe places for all people, of all genders. Bring your reality into our open world and expand everyone's horizons!
“Our kids wait for Adventures in Cardboard more than they wait for Christmas!”
“My son continues to talk about AIC, and it's clear that his week in Theo Wirth Park was the highlight not only of his summer but of his year and even perhaps of his 10 years on this earth. He will definitely be back next year!”
“Do you guys know how amazing you are? I appreciate this camp experience so much for my children. The environment of creativity and acceptance is so special. My son had a rough year at school and this week has been magical (after only 2 days!!) He's happy and calmer than I've seen in over 9 months. So thank you! Kindest Regards and Huzzah! (My kids tell me we must say this at least 4 times a day now).”
“My kids come home totally wiped out from all the awesomeness!”
“The BEST camp ever!! My boys loved all aspects of the camp - building weapons and castles, writing spells and incantations, playing capture the flag, searching for treasure (relics), and playing in the woods. The staff is engaged and supremely creative.”
-Shannon Baker Overdahl
“My son loves every minute of this camp and he's a hard kid to please (unless a screen is involved.) It's an amazing week that is unplugged and full of boyhood wonder!”
“My son LOVES this camp! According to him, it's the most fun he's ever had. We will definitely sign up again and for many years to come! So well organized and the camp leaders are amazing.”
-Melanie Sizer Moriarty
“Hands down one of the best camps in the Twin Cities! Julian and his staff create a magical adventure full of fun and creativity! My daughter is already looking forward to camp next year and hopes to become a camp leader someday! I highly recommend this camp to children that love the outdoors, building castles, designing weapons and armor out of cardboard, theater and being creative. Great Job to all of the staff at Adventures in Cardboard! A special thanks to Zoe and Patrick! You have both been great role models and your love of all things glittery and your creative hearts have meant a lot to Riley!
Good luck to the House of Drake in the final battle!”
“My son had the best time attending this camp last week. In fact, he made it clear this was his favorite camp ever. He was so totally engaged - bringing his creations home at night and working feverishly to improve them. He practiced his 'epic deaths' and sword fighting techniques often. He was so happy and so energized by this camp - we'll certainly go again. Thanks for creating such a magical experience for kids!”
“This camp is a perennial favorite in our family for so many reasons. We love the fact that it takes place outdoors, it highlights medieval history, promotes creativity, theater and teamwork, and is just really fun.”
“My two boys just finished their first week and said this was the best camp they had ever attended. We loved that they allow the kids to roam around and be kids! The instructors are great and we are definitely coming back. Now they are home still working on their weapons and armor just because it’s fun! It's a great idea and I hope it continues to be successful forever!”
“Thank you, my son fully enjoyed the camp, saying it is the best camp he has ever attended!!!”
“You guys are doing an amazing job. I’m so impressed with your program and want to thank you for creating the most memorable week of Chase’s summer (this year and last). Chase can’t wait for next year (and we’ll try to sign up for two weeks this time!)”
Classic camps are the original AiC camps adventurers know and love! All weeks of classic AiC include castle building, arms & armor, games and swimming whenever beaches are available at hosting parks. The terrain varies widely from park to park. Adventurers will have elective opportunities over the course of each week to customize their experience.
Build anything you want for your character or your Esteemed House. Usually people begin by designing their own suit of armor and personal arms: The Realm can be a dangerous place! Work independently or collaborate with a team. Add spikes, fins, scales, plates, helmets, gauntlets, shields limited only by your imagination. Go classic or go mythic. Create your heirloom sword, ax, mace, halberd, spear or other deadly accoutrements. Use and improve what you make in daily games of capture the flag.
Or... scrap the arms and armor and work instead on magical tomes, artifacts of power, hoods, capes, crowns, wands and rings of power!
Or... work on a farmstead and corral, a shop in the village, a tavern with games of chance, a forest hut for your sorcerer or a library for your wizened sage.
Each week will also have optional special projects with visiting local artists. Create a village, work on a giant maze, focus on siege engines, specialty bows or on more advanced live-action games.
The Castle Village
Design and build an actual castle or fortified village to inhabit, attack and defend with basic woodwork framing and large cardboard construction. Make walls festooned with battlements. Raise towers. Install a gatehouse with portcullis, arrow-loops and drop-holes for defense.
Later in the week this sprawling fortification becomes the locus for many role playing activities. It's final size and the variety of activities that go on inside of its walls is up to our collective imagination. And for every person who manages to become Queen beware the Sword of Damocles that hangs above your head!
Develop group identities and team strategies to defend or storm the castle in daily competitions of Capture the Flag, Kingdom, Skirmish and other games. Each site usually hosts plenty of paved paths for bicycle patrols, open fields for pitched battles, shoreline beaches for longboat raids and wooded trails for haunted towers and wizardry! Some sites have caves, gorges and other extraordinary features to explore. Always seek magic and unusual characters in such remarkable places when you stumble into them.
Adventurers are divided into six different houses each with its own set of virtues and weaknesses. The Houses of Arko, Drake, Sanglier, Áquila, Hákarl and Hart collaborate and compete in games that seek to instill integrity, chivalry, creativity and collaborative play. Each esteemed House has its own magic related to its unique eorð-sigil or déor-dweomer. Each House also possesses a complex backstory that you will develop and add to as your week progresses. Rumor has it there are secret Houses whose initiates have been sworn to deny their existence.
Swimming & Boating
Swimming breaks are available at sites where local lakes are available. Sometimes when swimming is not available we'll still have the opportunity to use boats or even sometimes build them out of cardboard for our games.
All Advanced Camps are similar to Classic Camps,but the average age of adventurers is older. We include all of the same activities as Classic Camps but with a focus on strategic and tactical gaming in Tactical Weeks and a focus on story and character in Theatrical Weeks.
These camps are organized around extended rounds of a live action strategic game called Dominion. We will roll out all the relics, encounter characters and backstory for game-changing variation and chance, but Tactical Camps require higher levels of fair play and maturity. Tactical Camps feature stricter rules, more competition and a greater focus on strategy and battlefield tactics. In the past counselors have balanced shifting power dynamics by joining teams when one team seemed ascendant. By popular demand counselors will not intercede this year to balance play but will seek to instill the best spirit of the game and let be what will be! Come and test yourself: if you were transported into a tragic fantasy conflict of ascension would you have the cunning, skill and character it would take to organize your warband and capture the throne?
Theatrical Weeks are more immersive role-playing camp experiences for participants who may already have some gear and a sense of character from past participation. It is suggested that you have at least one year of camp experience before participating in a Theatrical Camp. The counselors create open-ended scenarios where, after a first day of orientation, you are free to explore and participate as you will. This year we will have upgraded encounters, new set pieces including an actual library to explore as well as the fortified town. You can build in the Armory all day, seek out tactical battles in The Realm, seek out mysteries and hazards or build political and financial power in the village. Raise a rebel army with hobgoblin bandits and sieze the castle. Disappear into the library and unlock the ability to create and use magical potions. Or... just relax in the natural beauty of the woods. In any case, YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS will have a large responsibility for helping to create the world we will all be inhabiting. Be prepared to immerse yourself in your character and in The Realm at a much higher level.
- experience activities in cohorts of equal gender ratios,
- be able to battle other houses that are similarly composed,
- and it helps us avoid a competition-dynamic based on gender.
OUR SUMMER LOCATIONS
All locations are chosen for natural beauty, tranquility and options for creative outdoor play.
“The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.” ―B.B.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring