Students Learn Teamwork at GameON: Esports Camp

(Provided Photo)

(Ripley County, IN) – Genesis: Pathways to Success marched onward with its A Summer of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) initiative with Game ON: Esports Camp. 20 students from middle schools across Southeastern Indiana learned the fundamentals of the video game Minecraft and the complex controls of keyboard and mouse inputs, while enhancing their communication and teamwork capabilities.

Upon entering camp, those in attendance were organized into four teams: the Lava Legionnaires, the Sapphire Slayers, the Obsidian Overlords, and the Emerald Enforcers. Each day began with warm up stretches, ensuring a safe, healthy environment so students could enjoy a productive day at camp. Following their stretches, students entered the game worlds, free to explore and study the map they will play prior to beginning the game. They then split up with their teams, with 2 teams staying to play various game modes and 2 teams participating in real world building challenges.

In Minecraft, campers played game modes such as Capture the Wool, a take on the classic playground game Capture the Flag, and Bedwars, a survival based game. In both of these game modes, students were able to find success through effective, concise communication and teamwork. Campers were required to strategize with their team, coordinating their tactics to thwart their opponent’s attacks while advancing theirs. The students’ Minecraft experience reached its pinnacle on the final day with a tournament of Capture the Wool, with teams being seeded based on their records from scrimmages. In the tournament final, the Emerald Enforcers faced off against the Obsidian Slayers, with the Emerald Enforcers bringing in the trophy.

In addition to team based competitions in Minecraft, campers participated in build challenges where they were randomly assigned objects and had to build them. Items the campers were tasked with constructing include an elephant, a dinosaur, a watermelon, a pool table, and an aquarium. These challenges stretch the students’ creativity and push the boundaries of their minds as these creations could include various details of their choosing or be any form of the object they had to craft.

Concurrently, when students were not active in their Minecraft worlds, they participated in real world build challenges, coordinating with their teams to produce the most efficient product. With the purpose of bolstering their engineering minds, they were required to construct a paper airplane that could fly and hit a target from 10 feet away, a stand sturdy enough to hold a cup as high as possible, and a bridge of cards capable of holding weight. Students utilized traditional STEM concepts, while utilizing their prodigious imaginations to construct inventive designs.

In addition to effective communication, team work, and traditional STEM skills, the campers experienced the power of confidence. Students were placed in an environment where they were comfortable and protected from the outside world. Minecraft, a peaceful game, allows the campers to open their minds to new design processes, new building designs, and new perspectives. The increased confidence provided by the camp is exemplified in a quote by the On-Site Technician of Milan Middle School Spencer Klump, “I think the most important aspect of this camp is providing these kids with an opportunity to escape from reality. The students form a unique community around Minecraft and forget any grudges they may hold against each other. The virtual world frees them to be themselves and learn how to be comfortable in their own skin. This freedom allows them to share their ideas openly and are met with positive, productive feedback.”

“I would say my favorite part of camp can be summarized into the three F’s: food, fun, and friends. I love being able to come to the Genesis camps and interact with other kids my age who share the same interests. It allows me to be myself and to share the ideas I have and encounter other amazing ideas that my fellow campers have,” said incoming freshman homeschooler Aaron Quick.

Genesis: Pathways to Success would like to thank the Milan Community School Corporation allowing us to host camp and for their continued efforts in creating new, exciting ways for kids to learn. We would also like to thank our volunteers Taylor Peterson, Spencer Klump, and Robert Green for dedicating their time and ensuring a safe, welcoming environment where students are accepted for who they are, and encouraged to be themselves.

If you would like to learn additional information about this summer camp, please visit If you have questions regarding A Summer of STREAM, please contact the Genesis: Pathways to Success Office by emailing [email protected], calling (812) 933-1098, or visiting 13 E. George Street, Suite B, Batesville, IN 47006.

(Genesis: Pathways to Success press release)