Summer Adventure Camps 2021

In the wild, wonderful woods of Forest Park and Prospect Park!

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

-Paula Warford, 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

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

-Kim Pierce, 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

“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

“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!”

-Jennifer Jouppi, parent who's daughter is now a CIT

“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

“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 DAY WORKSHOPS

Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm, ages 8-16

PROFESSIONAL

Skilled, experienced and fun-loving artists & teachers lead all activities!

SUPERVISION

We boast a 1:5 staff to camper ratio, rare in any camp! 

HIGH DESIGN

High design for minimal structure, maximum fun! All kids welcome!

YOUNGER & OLDER

Classic Sessions ages 8-16 & Older Sessions ages 13-17

bryant-castle-AIC

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!

AiC is for Girls and All Genders!

Adventures in Cardboard is for girls as much as boys. It is open to all people and all genders.
 
Our instructors are sensitive and skilled and they are trained to be aware of gender dynamics especially when it comes to combat play: an activity often tragically associated only with boys. But every week we see that battle games and tragic fantasy role playing is play that is enjoyed by people of all genders.
 
Unless adventurers instruct us otherwise, we always make sure there are several houses that are at least half-filled with girls and non-binary gender individuals. This insures that all adventurers will:
 
  • 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.
 
We are currently at about 25% girls having doubled their participation since 2014, but we know we can do much better. To that end we strive to build a culture and legacy of respect for all people at camp, but also especially for girls and non-binary genders who are sometimes under-represented in the domain of battle play and tragic fantasy. Every person at camp will find instructors that can be big sisters, big brothers and big siblings to them for the week; at least half of our instructors are women and non-binary genders: all of our staff are skilled and capable artists, teachers, actors and martial artists of all ages.
 
Please let us know if we can answer any further questions for you about gender dynamics at camp.
 
No matter what pronouns you choose to go by, know that battle play and competition is only a part of the Adventures in Cardboard experience. You can avoid it entirely if you like and stick to role playing experiences. There are a plethora of cooperative and theatrical activities available and campers may participate in cooperative and/or competitive activities as they like! 

OUR ADVENTURE CAMPS, ages 8-16:

ADVENTURE CAMPS

Adventure camps are the original AiC camps, born in Minnesota, that our adventurers know and love! All weeks of classic AiC include building arms & armor, games and the creation of castles and villages whenever we can! The terrain varies widely from park to park and adventurers will have elective opportunities over the course of each week to further customize their experience.

The Armory

Build anything you want for your character or your Esteemed House of The Realm. 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 Games

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.

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

SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP, WEEK 1 at FOREST PARK, Forest Hills

One of the wildest wooded sections of any parks in the metro area, the Blue Gorge feels like you're in the ancient bones of Taconic Appalachia on up the Hudson Valley!

Campers will meet at the Memorial near 108-13 Myrtle Ave, then head up into the fantastic Blue Gorge at the top of the hill.

We'll have tents set up onsite for crafting between games and a few classrooms reserved a short walk away for super-inclement weather. 

Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm

Train Info: The 111th St Station accessible by the J Train is the closest train station.

SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP, WEEK 2 at PROSPECT PARK Windsor Terrace

After crafting each morning in a Corinthian Pavillion, we'll head on up to the labyrinthine trails and wild peaks of Lookout Hill for games.

Campers will meet at The Peristyle, 75 Parkside Ave, a spectacular 1890's Beax-Arts shelter south of the Lake. 

On days with super-inclement weather we'll have elective activities available at The Peristyle or nearby at classrooms a short walk away in Windsor Terrace.

Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm

Train Info: The Fort Hamilton Station accessible by the F and G Trains is the closest station.

email TACTICAL West Bush Lake Raw

“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