Thanks for reaching out. We all work 'normal' day jobs so you may not get an immediate response. Please check the FAQ below as, after running 500+ Minecraft Camps, most questions have been answered there.
What are the start and finish times?
The Minecraft Camp/Workshop usually starts at 9.30am and finishes at 3:30pm. Children can be dropped off from 9.15am and parents/carers need to be at the venue by 3.15pm for pick up. We have a 5 minute information session at the end of the day. Minecrafter Parents are more than welcome to come and go at any stage or even stay all day.
Do parents need to stay?
Parents do not need to stay. We are very experienced and will take great care of your kids. You are welcome to drop in anytime during the day to check on them and you are also welcome to stay all day if you like but it’s certainly not necessary.
Do they sit at the computer all day?
No way! We have breaks at 10.30am, 12.30pm and around 2.30pm. We also stop every 30-60 mins and have a stretch break of some kind. Usually this involves rolling shoulders forwards and back and stretching the neck. We are also up in a circle a lot talking about our 3 principles, whats coming next, what things people are working on and generally sharing whats going well.
Can you use an iPad or do you need a laptop?
No. We supply all the laptops and in most cases, we work on MacBook Airs as they network well. You do not need any devices and it's best not to bring iPads as they are just a distraction.
What are the rules at camp?
Yes we do. We follow three principles in the events and on the server too, and they are:
Effort – Working hard to get a result based on your own effort
Empathy – Caring for others and understanding how they might feel
Growth – this is about coaching and helping others get better. This may be helping guide behaviour or it may be showing a new skill. We emphasise growing by helping others.
If your child is not playing by these principles we:
- Offer a warning (in game or face to face – sometimes 2 or 3 times)
- Kick them from the server – they can join straight back on, this gives us an opportunity to catch up with them and discuss why they were kicked. If they have been spamming they may be muted.
- If their behaviour continues we may ‘Temp Ban’ them. This is like time out. We would usually do 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the behaviour.
4. If their behaviour continues (or if it is malicious) they will be banned from the server and if they are in a camp, you will be contacted. You will be asked to come and remove them from the event. These decisions are at the discretion of Mind Buzz P/L Camp Leaders.
We have only needed to call a parent for removal of a participant a few times after 5000+ participants!
What qualifications do you have?
Sean Firth (founder and presenter) is a teacher and former principal. Most of the assistants are either teachers or work in classrooms. All adults working in the camp definitely hold a Working With Children card and often a current First Aid Certificate.
I can’t print a ticket, is this a problem?
No. You DO NOT NEED A TICKET. We check you in at the event. If someone else is picking your child up, please let us know when you drop them off.
My child is 5 years old, can they come?
We do allow it but it really depends on the child. The PC is more complex and can be difficult for younger children. If they are under 6 years old they should already be playing Minecraft on the PC or be really familiar with it. Otherwise, they will need to wait until they turn 6. If you’re confident that your 5 year old can handle the PC (and themselves), then get in touch and we will confirm if its ok or not. It's not that common and most just wait! We are not going anywhere.
Do you have WWCC and Police Clearance?
Yes, we do. We take child safety very seriously and all leaders and assistants have current Working With Children checks. A police check is done by the WWCC people also.
Do you provide food and drinks?
No, we don’t supply food as there are too many allergies and hungry lawyers out there. Please just pack a normal school lunch and some water.
Do they go "Online"?
Not really. We use a LAN network for the first part of it and then the MindBuzz server for the rest of the day. The Mind Buzz server is whitelisted and only accessible by people that have been to camps. It is an online server but unless you have been to a camp you cannot get on. We don't access the internet via a web browser as part of the day unless we are changing our Minecraft skins.
Someone else is picking up my child!
If someone else is picking your child up, please let us know when you drop them off. We will then make a note of it. Or if its short notice just send a text message to the number on our emails to you.
How many kids are at a camp?
There are usually 24 kids at each camp. That’s a really good group size. We do smaller camps depending on who the presenter is and their experience. 24 is a great class size to get the right amount of excitement bubbling up.
What do you get for your $
Well the average price for daycare is $75-150 a day so we think what we do is pretty cheap. It’s a whole day event from 9am to 3pm. They get a laptop to use for the day, a workbook and lanyard to take home and access to the server afterwards so they can continue their learning and friendships.
Due to increasing costs we have had to increase our price for this amazing day. We still think its very cheap for what you get. The old price was 59 + 5.90 gst, it’s now 67 + 6.70 gst. You get a lanyard, a workbook and access to the server and ongoing support afterwards as well as 6 hrs of live workshop. The average price of daycare in Australia is between $70-$180 and we offer WAY MORE VALUE than that!
Do we need to bring any devices?
No they don’t need to bring any other devices but they can. They are welcome to bring their own mouse (we provide them but some people have awesome gaming mouses), and if they like to listen to the game music they can bring headphones.
Do we need a PC/Java Minecraft account?
No, you do not, but to get the most from our Camps and particularly after the day ends we recommend each child has their own Minecraft account. The MindBuzz server is ‘live’ and they can play on our safe server after the event. We have spare accounts they can use for the day, though anything they build, create or win, will not be accessible later. A minecraft account can be purchased from Mojang here. Please remember to bring along their email address used to set the account up, and the password for the same account.
Would it suit a kid who has just started playing?
Most have played on iPads or tablets already. They pick up the PC gameplay very quick and we have a few kids each time who have not used a computer before. If they are very young (6-7) then I would get them to practice beforehand by downloading the game onto PC from minecraft.net otherwise it can be a bit much for them.
My child is advanced in Minecraft
We have something for your advanced player! Our camps are structured around challenges and collaboration. The advanced Minecraft players get a tremendous amount of growth out of coaching the beginner players. In our camps and online server they can be promoted to be coaches and moderators, if they are very advanced and demonstrate strong leadership they can be promoted to server Admins.
My kid has been before...
That's great! It is the same workshop and kids love the fact. Kids come multiple times, again and again. We recently had a kid come for his 100th camp! He has grown tremendously from coming and is now an admin on the server. His confidence is immense now which is in stark contrast to not even being able to look you in the eye on his first day several years ago. Some kids like football, some like Minecraft. we are all different. So it’s up to you whether you want to send them again. They would surely get value from it!
My child has a special need, can they still come?
Sure thing, they are most welcome. Minecraft is a great equaliser and is one of the reasons the camps are so successful. If they have high needs please be prepared to accompany your child. Our requirements with kids that have special needs are if they require 1 to 1 support in school, then you will need to provide the same support on the day. Please add additional information, such as their allergies, whether they are high functioning, issues with anger or anxiety etc in the further info box when you are getting the ticket.
Do you run during school terms?
Sometimes we do. The best thing to do is to get on my mailing list or waitlist on the website so you get notifications. Make sure you put your location in so you only get relevant emails. To be honest we are doing less and less camps during term and focusing more just on school holidays.
Do you have a waiting list for XYZ camp?
Yes, we do have a waitlisting form on the website. Please go to WAITLIST, select your preferred camp and submit. If a spot comes up you will get a call or an email. Also, your name will be added to our general list so that next holidays you will be the first to know of new workshops in your area.