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Registration for Summer 2023 opens Saturday, Jan 14th at 10am.

Our Summer 2024 Schedule will be online by Saturday, Jan 7th


The 2023 schedule will be similar to 2022, but with some additional Older Classic Camps for ages 12 and up, some Enchanted Camps for ages 6 and 7, and the possibility of Technical Weeks that focus mostly on building in the Armory!


“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!"

-Jennifer Jouppi, parent

“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, parent

“Our kids wait for Adventures in Cardboard more than they wait for Christmas!”

-Paula Warford, parent

“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, parent

“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!”

-Larissa Judt, parent

“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).”

-anonymous parent

“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!” 

-Miranda McGowan, parent

“My kids come home totally wiped out from all the awesomeness!”

-Kim Pierce, parent

“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!”

-Nancy Lyons, parent

“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.”

-Jennifer Bertram, parent

“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!”

-Kristin O’Brien, parent

“Thank you, my son fully enjoyed the camp, saying it is the best camp he has ever attended!!!”

-Angela Rosales, parent

“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!)”

-Scott Litman, parent

Full Days

Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm, low structure, maximum fun

Professional Staff

artists and teachers lead all activities

Strong Staffing

1 experienced staff person for every 4 or 5 campers

Elementary, Middle & High

camps for ages 8-15 & ages 12-16

Busses Each Week

from Minneapolis and Saint Paul to most sites


Step into a world of swords and sorcery, catapults and castles, mythical heroes and legendary beasts!

Join an ancient 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 opposing houses and monsters! Construct giant castles, labyrinthine villages and fortified cities! Battle on trails, fields and shorelines as you seek out lost relics of eldritch power! Tell a hundred stories by your word and deed in enchanting wild places!

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.

Adventures in Cardboard is for girls just as much as boys. We know that battle games and tragic fantasy role playing are enjoyed by all people of all genders. Our instructors are sensitive and skilled and will be aware of gender dynamics when it comes to combat play and every person at camp, boy, girl and non-binary, will find instructors that will be supportive big siblings to them throughout the week.
Unless adventurers instruct us otherwise, we always make sure there are several houses that are at least half-filled with girls and/or non-binary kids. This insures that all adventurers will:
  • experience activities in cohorts of equal gender ratios,
  • be able to battle other houses that are similarly composed,
  • avoid a competition-dynamic based on gender.
We strive to build a culture and legacy of respect for all people at camp, and also especially for girls and non-binary people who are often under-invited into the domain of battle play and tragic fantasy. 
Whether any kid is necessarily even interested in battle play, know that there are a plethora of cooperative and theatrical activities available at camp every week and battle play and other competitive activities can be avoided entirely! 
Please let us know if we can answer any further questions for you about gender dynamics at camp.
Ninemile Email

Which Program to Choose?

With over forty weeks available which week of camp should you choose?

  • If you're new we suggest finding a Classic Week at a park near you.
  • If you have kids that are twelve to sixteen years, then Tactical or Theatrical Weeks are also fantastic options, both very similar to Classic Weeks.
  • If you are a returning family you may want to consider going with a familiar band of counselors and you can search the bands for your favorite counselors below.
  • If you need a bus we have at least one camp with bus service from Minneapolis every week and a bus from north Minneapolis and Maplewood.

It's good to have a few different weeks in mind before you register in case some of your choices fill. Any camps in Minneapolis, Bryant Lake Regional Park and West Bush Lake Park can fill very quickly.

Is it OK for an 10 or 11 year old to take a tactical or theatrical camp? Yes it is! All camps are designed for mixed age groups, ages listed are suggestions to try and set an average age for the kind of experience you or your kids are looking for. It's the camper's summer however, and we'd like to see them where they most want to be. So... if your ten-year old likes spending time with her older sister and her firends, we'll make it happen!

Classic Weeks suggested ages 8-15

These are the original camps adventurers know and love. All Classic Weeks include

  • free role play and building in the castle village,
  • the creation of individual props, costumes, arms & armor,
  • playing tactical and exploratory games on the trails,
  • and swimming or boating whenever there are safe places for water activities.

Adventurers will have elective opportunities over the course of each week to customize their experience and by Thursday and Friday campers can pretty much gravitate to their favorite activities as they like.

The Armory

Build anything you want for your character or your group.

Adventurers begin by designing their own arms and armor: the Realm can be a dangerous place after all. 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 guild of wizened sages.

Each week will 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 and fortified village to inhabit, employ your trade, defend or attack. Make walls festooned with battlements. Raise towers. Install a gatehouse with portcullis, arrow-loops and drop-holes for defense. Add a smithy, a tavern, an inn, a stables, a thieves' den, a sacred temple, catacombs beneath the castle, anything goes!

Later in the week this sprawling fortification becomes the locus for many free 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 or King? Beware the Sword of Damocles that hangs over your head!

The Games

Develop group identities and team strategies in daily competitions of Capture the Flag and other tactical games. Each site usually hosts plenty of paved paths for bicycle patrols, open fields for pitched battles, shoreline beaches for longboat raids and woodland trails for haunted towers, wizardry and scouting! Some sites have caves, gorges and other extraordinary features to explore. Always seek magic or unusual characters in such remarkable places when you stumble into them.

Adventurers are divided into six different Esteemed Houses each with its own set of virtues and weaknesses. The Houses of Arko, Draech, Sahn-Gliér, Áquilah, Hákkarl and Hart collaborate and compete in games that seek to instill integrity, chivalry, creativity and collaborative play. Each House also possesses a growing history that you will develop and add to as your week progresses. 

Click here to view backstory ideas for games and props design!

Swimming & Boating

Swimming is available at sites where safe swimming spots are available. Sometimes when swimming is not available we still have the opportunity to use boats or even build them out of cardboard.

These weeks are similar to Classic Weeks but with a heightened focus on strategy and competition gaming in Tactical Weeks and with a heightened focus on role playing and creating-your-own-structure in Theatrical Weeks.

In both weeks the story is still king!

Tactical Weeks suggested ages 12-16 These weeks are typically organized around extended rounds of a live action strategic game called Dominion. We roll out all the relics, characters and backstory, but Tactical Weeks require higher levels of fair play and maturity. Tactical Weeks feature stricter gaming rules, more competition and a greater focus on team strategy and battlefield tactics.

Counselors join their teams in the fray seeking to instill the best spirit of the game but they will 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, resourcefulness and character it would take to organize a warband and capture the throne?

Theatrical Weeks (or Free Role Play Weeks) suggested ages 12-16

In Theatrical Weeks there is no schedule! Different activities of camp are always open and you can go WHERE you like, WHENEVER you like!

Theatrical Sessions are completely immersive role-playing camp experiences for participants. This does not mean we bother teaching theatre skills or worrying about a stage, you will not be forced to spend any time playing Zip,Zap,Zop, great game that it is.

Instead counselors create open-ended scenarios where, after a first day of orientation, you are free to explore and participate as you will. You can even just be yourself transported into a mythical world.

We typically have upgraded encounters, new set pieces to explore as well as a fortified town ready to inhabit. You can build in the Armory all day, join tactical battles in The Realm, seek out or create your own mysteries and hazards in the town or wilderness and build political and financial power near the castle. Raise a rebel army with hobgoblin bandits and seize the castle. Disappear into the library and unlock the ability to create and use magical potions. Or... find Johnnie Robin and 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 deeper level.

Of course we know boys are just as awesome! But since many camps see more boys in attendance than girls, we thought it would be fun to host a Classic Week of camp for girls and non-binary kids. In all other ways this is a Classic Week of camp with all the same programs that kids of all genders have come to love!


2022 Summer Schedule

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  • Sign up for as many waitlists as you like and check your email once a day.
  • You will be notified if a spot in any camp opens for you, and you'll have 24 hours to accept and be registered.

Waitlist OpenWEEK
Waitlist OpenWeek 1Jun 13-17Wirth LakeClassicnoneThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 1Jun 13-17Tony SchimdtClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 1Jun 13-17Caponi Art ParkClassicPowderhornMountain
Waitlist OpenWeek 1Jun 13-17West Bush LakeTacticalnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 2Jun 20-24Wirth LakeClassicnoneThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 2Jun 20-24Tony SchimdtClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 2Jun 20-24Caponi Art ParkClassicPowderhornMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 2Jun 20-24West Bush LakeClassicnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 3Jun 27-Jul 1Caponi Art ParkTheatricalPowderhornThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 3Jun 27-Jul 1Tony SchimdtClassicPowderhornStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 3Jun 27-Jul 1Wirth LakeClassicnoneMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 3Jun 27-Jul 1Bryant LakeClassicnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 4Jul 11-15Caponi Art ParkClassicPowderhornMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 4Jul 11-15Wirth LakeClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 4Jul 11-15French RegionalTacticalPowderhornThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 4Jul 11-15West Bush LakeClassicnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 5Jul 18-22Wirth LakeClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 5
Jul 18-22French RegionalClassicNorth CommonsThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 5Jul 18-22Caponi Art ParkClassicPowderhornMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 5Jul 18-22West Bush LakeClassicnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 6Jul 25-29Wirth LakeClassicnoneMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 6Jul 25-29West Bush LakeClassicnoneIron
Waitlist OpenWeek 6Jul 25-29French RegionalClassicPowderhornThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 6Jul 25-29Tony SchimdtClassicEast Metro BusStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 7Aug 1-5Tony SchmidtClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 7Aug 1-5West Bush LakeClassicnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 7Aug 1-5French RegionalClassicPowderhornThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 7Aug 1-5Bryant LakeClassicnoneMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 8Aug 8-12French RegionalClassicNorth CommonsThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 8Aug 8-12West Bush LakeTacticalnone Iron
Waitlist OpenWeek 8Aug 8-12Wirth LakeClassicnoneMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 8 (Girls)Aug 8-12Tony SchimdtGirl's ClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 9Aug 15-19Moir ParkClassicnoneIron
Waitlist OpenWeek 9Aug 15-19West Bush LakeClassicnoneThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 9
Aug 15-19Tony SchimdtClassicPowderhornStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 9Aug 15-19Wirth LakeClassicnoneMountain
Waitlist OpenWeek 10Aug 22-26Oak Grove on Nine Mile CreekClassicnoneMountains
Waitlist OpenWeek 10Aug 22-26Moir ParkClassicnoneIron
Waitlist OpenWeek 10Aug 22-26West Bush LakeClassicnoneThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 10Aug 22-26Wirth LakeClassicnoneStorms
Waitlist OpenWeek 11Aug 29 - Sep 2 West Bush LakeClassicnoneThunder
Waitlist OpenWeek 11 (Northfield)Aug 28 - Sep 2Caron Park, NorthfieldClassic (Northfield)noneNorthfield

2019 campsite map smaller file

white unshaded cells = Classic Week (suggested ages 8-15), green shaded cells = Tactical Week (12-16), gold shaded cells = Theatrical Week (12-16), violet shaded cells  = Classic Week for girls and non binary kids (8-15)

Many of our sessions have busses available from Powderhorn Park Recreation Center and one from North Commons Park in Minneapolis.

Our busses are staffed by the very instructors who will be leading your adventurers through a week of camp. These friendly people will meet adventurers every morning and help facilitate a safe, friendly and engaging atmosphere on the ride to camp.

Drops-offs at each bus station begin at 8am. Busses leave at 8:30am and return typically by 3:30pm.

All bus service is optional and you can select it if you wish when you register for a $30 fee for service Mon-Fri.

Powderhorn Park Bus (BLACK): A school bus will transport adventurers to and from the Powderhorn Park Recreation Center at 3400 15th Ave S, Minneapolis, Mon-Fri, on the weeks indicated. 

North Commons Bus (GREEN): A school bus will transport adventurers from North Commons Recreation Center at 1801 North James Ave, Minneapolis to French Regional Park on Week 5.

East Metro Bus (BLUE): A school bus will transport adventurers from Carver Elementary School  at 2680 Upper Afton Rd, Maplewood, MN  to Tony Schmidt Regional Park on Week 6.

french castle grant 6

The Four Bands

The staff in all four bands are equally experienced and fun-loving. They are artists, teachers and fantasy enthusiasts of the highest order, all are masters of art, performance or fantasy lore. We've balanced their strengths and interests in each band to bring you all the competitive games, cooperative free role playing and creative open building that you have come to expect from Adventures in Cardboard!

Band of Storms

Coordinators: Maggie, Aaron & Fletcher

Counselors: Dan Jones, Roger, Daniel, Huyana, Joe, Alec, Akin, DIllon, Claire, Ian "Juggernaught", Lacy, Jonah and more!

Band of Mountains

Coordinators:Julian, Ramon, Meg, Mikha

Counselors: Mark Safford, Calvin, Mia, Zoe, Grayson, Seamus, Dominic, Roo, Isaac, Declan, Bret, Matt, Oscar and Frankie, and more!

Band of Iron

Coordinators:  Brett, Tyler & Kevin

Counselors: Taelyn, Kelly, Eric Bowles, Bill, Abby, Erik Dagoberg, Henry, Charlie, James, Rory, Luca, Lauren Alex, Ani, Cat, Mabel and more!

Band of Thunder

Coordinators: Rachel "Alfie", Faithann & Logan

Counselors: Nat, Ace, Noah, Ranea, Armory Pete, Teresa, Grant, Oliver, Ahnika, Daniel, Kirian, Mike, Kaycee, Cedar, Macy, Harrison and more!

Edit Battlesides


All locations are chosen for natural beauty, tranquility and options for creative outdoor play.

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie

6800 Rowland Road, Eden Prairie
  • many quiet creeks and ponds
  • dramatic rocky castle crests
  • shady woodland hills abound
  • extensive forest trails
  • swimming onsite

Caponi Art Park, Eagan

South Parking Area, 1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan
  • 60 acres of rolling wooded hills
  • glacial-shaped topographic for maximum strategic impact in games
  • huge amphitheatre-shaped hills and valleys
  • no swimming onsite

French Regional Park, Plymouth

Skyview Picnic Area, 12605 Rockford Rd, Plymouth
  • dramatic rocky hills and topographical shifts
  • incredible woodland variation in an enclosed nature exploration area
  • miles of bogside and lakeshore trails
  • swimming possible, check with staff

West Bush Lake Park, Bloomington

Shelter #1, 9401 West Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington
  • minutes from south Minneapolis
  • quiet and majestic oak forests on gargantuan hilly promontories
  • miles of beachfront walks for possible canoe and dragon boat assaults.
  • diverse topography for maximum strategic impact in games
  • no swimming onsite, but boating is available


Theodore Wirth Boat Landing, Minneapolis

Public Access Parking Lot, 3130 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis
  • minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul
  • rolling hills and forests with lots of shade, bike paths, tremendously varied and beautiful woodland terrain
  • swimming onsite

Tony Schmidt Park, Saint Paul

3500 Lake Johanna Blvd, Arden Hills
  • minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul
  • plenty of twisting, maze-like wooded trails, lots of hidden places, some swamps and open fields
  • bright and sunny parts of the woods are crisscrossed by bike paths, optionally Tony Schmidt has plenty of dark and spooky interior places to explore as well
  • swimming onsite

Moir Park-Nine Mile Creek, Bloomington

10320 Morgan Ave S, Bloomington
  • miles of fantastic hidden creekside trails
  • rugged forested areas
  • expansive oak savannah and fields
  • creek wading onsite

Oak Grove-Nine Mile Creek, Bloomington

10455 Humboldt Ave S, Bloomington
  • miles of fantastic hidden creekside trails
  • rugged forested areas
  • expansive oak savannah and fields
  • creek wading onsite
boat with nick and slight shrug 2

“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.” 


The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien