Community Futures Visions North

Box 810, 711 LaRonge Avenue, LaRonge, SK - Phone: (306) 425-2612

Image Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan/Greg Huszar Photography

Tech Camp Completed

  • July 31, 2017
  • Written by Visions North Admin

Visions North’s Tech Camp

If the future of Community economic development truly lays with the youth of Canada then based on our recent Technology Camp, in partnership with Sask Polytechnic, we should do fine. The enthusiasm, creativity and collaboration they showed as a group was inspiring to witness.

Our camp, entitled Plan, Program and Play (Work Local, Think Global), kicked off at 9 am on Monday July 10th. Michael Barkley and Amanda Braun from Sask Poly Tech greeted our nine participants who arrived and were set up at their computers eager to get started. As Michael and Amanda led the participants through their paces the initial shyness of the students began to peel away and laughter and neighbourly help amongst the students soon took over.

The camp was definitely diverse. With an age range of 13 to 17, Indigenous and non-indigenous, male and female and some students with the extra struggle of Autism. But they all managed to shine through with their doggedness, creativity and enthusiasm.

That enthusiasm went on through breaks and lunch. The participants would stop long enough to grab a snack or lunch and jump right back on the computer to continue designing their individual games. The cross section of the various skill levels made it a challenging class for the instructors to engage all students but based on final evaluations they were successful. The more neophyte students felt that the pace was fine. One student even pointed out the individual help and time that Amanda and Michael took during the exercises to help them get over any difficulties they were experiencing. When we asked the more experienced students if the course was any help at all they all responded in the affirmative. The evaluations asked for more courses on advanced coding beyond game making.

By the end of the three days of teaching Michael pointed out that the games they had all developed were vastly different than the base model they had started with and that it was terrific to see that type of creativity from everyone.

On Day 4 Jordan Schidlowsky of Noodlecake Studios in Saskatoon stopped by to tell the students about his own journey through the game making industry and what advice he could give them. He reiterated the lesson we hoped the students would discover through the camp and that was it doesn’t matter where you live, whether it’s a big city like Saskatoon or smaller community like La Ronge, as long as you were willing to work hard, showed some creativity and determination, you could be successful and make a career for yourself in your home town.

Although the goal was to inspire the students in this exciting field and what promises to be the future of employment in Canada and the world they ended up inspiring everyone around them and showing there is talent in every part of this great country.