Junior Bots Camps

Junior Bots camps are a major fundraiser for our team and a great way to get involved with our community over the summer. This section includes basic information on how to plan a camp, find campers, and host a successful event.

Planning Timeline

  • February-March: Determine location, dates, and create promotional materials

  • April: Post camp information, share on social media, start taking registrations

    • Some towns host a Summer Camp Expo around this time of year; this is a great opportunity to get the word out about your event

  • May (before summer break): Confirm location/summer contact information if hosting camp at a school, send out volunteer sign up and training materials

  • 45 Days Before Camp: Last day to register, this will make it easier to do final planning

  • 1 Month Before Camp: Review curriculums and make adjustments, send out another push on social media, order t-shirts

  • 1 Week Before Camp: Purchase snacks/supplies, inventory camp materials, confirm volunteers, send out a reminder to registered campers

  • Day Before Camp: Charge devices, review materials, confirm signups and camp payments

  • Day of Camp: Get there an hour early to setup, have fun!

  • 1 Day After Camp: Send out feedback forms, photo galleries, and information about future events


This is key to having a successful camp. Get the word out as early as possible!

  • Use the power of social media! Post every couple weeks to increase your chances of catching campers, it can also be helpful to DM local libraries, schools, or STEM programs to repost your flyers

  • Ask local elementary and middle schools to share your information with their families. Many schools have a virtual event board or other method for sharing out events

  • Email past participants of your team, other events you've hosted, or sponsors to spread the word

  • Post flyers on coffee shop or grocery store bulletin boards

Camp Logistics

We typically host 2 camps throughout the summer that are 4-days long and roughly 6 hours long (including a lunch break). Additionally, we offered daycare hours before and after our camps to make it easier for parents work schedules. This flexibility makes it easier for campers with busy schedules to participate. During our early start and late stay periods we watch movies, play board games, or do non-LEGO related STEM activities.

When considering the length of camp, keep in mind the number of volunteers that will be needed and the level of commitment required. Longer camps can be harder to find locations for and busy high school schedules can interfere with camp times.


Early Start

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

LEGO Explore Camp

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Junior Bots/JB: Challenge/Python Camp

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Late Stay

1:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Camp Curriculums

Research the camps in your city to determine where your event can have the most impact. In some cases this may be building LEGO robots, learning to program, or more science related experiments. For our Junior Bot camps we offer 2 curriculums using EV3 robots (beginner and advanced) and a Python Programming camp. At the end of Junior Bots we try to pair up our student with FIRST LEGO League teams in the area so they can continue building their skills.

In addition to the curriculum we write, we also invite sponsors or local partners to participate in our camps as guest presenters. For the 2023 Junior Bot sessions we had the Iowa Children's Museum bring a variety of STEM toys for our students to spend an afternoon experimenting with and also had several FTC teams bring their robot to demonstrate. This is a fun way to strengthen relationships with groups in your area and offers campers unique learning opportunities.

Below is an example of our camp schedule. The blue squares are the across all of our camps. These are times when all ages are able to do activities together and friends across camps can hang out. Junior Bots and Junior Bots Challenge also both participate in the final Robot Sumo project together.

Each white square in the schedule has presentation associated to it. These are written by our FRC team and are updated annually based on student feedback.

Tips & Tricks

  • Research local camps in your area to help establish pricing that is fair, but competitive

  • Camps with younger students can be harder on volunteers, make sure to account for this in your volunteer numbers

  • Team up with other robotics teams in your area to strengthen your volunteer base so you can have more campers - this is a great networking opportunity and can make hosting a camp significantly less daunting

    • Other teams may have additional LEGO kits or supplies to cover additional campers as well

    • If you choose to share responsibilities with other FIRST teams document who is in charge of each task to make future event judgings easier

  • If you choose to design t-shirts for your event, keep them generic so leftover shirts can be used for future camps. In the past we have rotated shirt colors so repeat campers don't end up with the same shirt twice or allowed students to tie-dye their shirts on the first day of camp

Last updated

Iowa City Robotics 2024