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During the summer of 2016 the world was introduced to Pokémon Go, a gaming app that allows you to catch Pokémon using your smart phone. Summer camp staff from all over North America were trying to catch Pokémon on their free time.
While some camps were contacting the company responsible for the app in an attempt to have these virtual monsters removed from their property, the creative staff of other camps were quick to capitalize on the new craze.
Some camps offered a Pokémon Go evening program and other camps made it a week-long game. It usually started with campers earning Poké Balls. This could be done at “PokéStops” by completing a task like winning at a carnival game or doing a physical activity like push-ups. Or, campers could earn Poké Balls by answering trivia questions, showing positive behavior, or completing challenges randomly throughout the week.
What did campers do with the Poké Balls once they earned them? They used them to catch Pokémon, of course. This was also done in a variety of ways depending on the camp. While one camp used actual balls in a carnival like game to “catch Pokémon” and earn prizes, another camp used water balloons as Poké Balls, and during a counselor hunt…ahem, I mean a Pokémon hunt, campers threw the water balloons at “Pokémon” to “capture them”.
Then there were the camps that took it a step further and had their counselors dress as Pokémon,. Once caught, their Pokémon Trainers (campers) would use them in battles. Who would eventually become the champion of the Pokémon League? Check out Camp Foundation’s video of their Pokémon Go program.
Did your camp offer a Pokemon Go program this past summer? Do you think this is just a one summer fad or will we see campers trying to “catch them all” next summer as well?