Bytecamp (EN)

Location

Tampere, Finland

Organisation

The Evangelical Lutheran parishes of Tampere

Target group

Boys over 12 years old interested in computers and digital gaming

Goals

To reach boys interested in digital games and collaborate with them in fostering a healthy and positive gaming culture. To highlight the positive aspects of digital gaming as a hobby. To help young people create social contacts and friendships within their peer group. To provide leisure activities during the holiday seasons. To help young people grow into responsible, tolerant and considerate adults. To come before God and to grow as a Christian while learning about our religion.

Development

The tradition began 24 years ago when the old parish tradition of camps was combined with the new and upcoming technology of personal computers. The activities have since evolved from the beginnings of building up computers into single-player games due to technological advancements. More recently the focus has shifted onto the topic of multiplayer games and gaming communities.

Activity in practice

The camp is organised 6 times per year, of which 3 are for the younger group of boys and 3 for the older ones. The younger one’s camps, which are aimed at boys from 12 to 16 years old, last for 4 days and have a strong emphasis on an educational program. For the older boys (16 years and above) the camps are more a place to meet and spend time with their peer group.

Resources needed

The venue needs to have an adequate supply of electricity and network connections. Additionally, a robust local area network (LAN) is needed. During camps, participants are offered full upkeep (accommodation, food etc.)

Feedback

The feedback received has been predominantly positive. Some young people think the camps should be longer and offered more often. Some attendees also wish for more time for gaming in lieu of educational activities.

Evaluation

Both young people and their parents can give feedback through a questionnaire, of which the results can be seen online on the camps’ webpage. The activities have also been further developed according to the feedback received.

Benefits

The activities have brought both national and international visibility to the youth work activities of the parish. The activity has also reached a target group – 12-24-year old boys – often not reached. 

Additional information

http://www.bittileiri.fi/ (Finnish)