Summer Workshops 2014

Adventures in Cardboard - Storming the castle


Adventures in Cardboard demands the use of legs and feet as much as hands and head,  seeks to unleash a zeal for creative role-playing and prefers  “wonder” as a path to igniting passion for design and construction.

The Castle Adventure Workshops

Four spectacular activities in one program.

Construct and design your own suit of armor. Work independently or collaborate with a team. Spikes, fins, scales, plates, helmets, gauntlets, shields limited only by your imagination. Go classic or go mythic. Add your sword, ax, mace, halberd, spear or other deadly accoutrements. Use and improve what you make in daily games of capture the flag.

Design and build an actual castle to inhabit, attack and defend with basic woodwork framing and large cardboard construction. Make walls festooned with battlements. Raise towers. Install a gatehouse with portcullis, arrow-loops and drop holes to defend the entryway.

Develop group identities and team strategies to defend or storm the castle in daily competitions of capture the flag and other games. 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!

Campers are divided into six different houses each with its own set of virtues. The Houses of Arko, Drake, Sanglier, Aquila, Tiburon and Hart collaborate and compete in games that seek to instill integrity, chivalry, creativity and collaborative play.

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.

Swimming breaks in local lakes round out the long summer days.

Basic Information:

  • Full day workshops, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm
  • Weekly rate: $299
  • Bus Service from Powderhorn Park (first 3 sessions) $25
  • 4:1 staff-to-camper ratios.
  • Professional artists, teachers and counselors.
  • Lifeguard-certified staff at waterfront.


All locations are chosen for natural beauty, repose and their ability to arouse a passion for creative outdoor play.

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie

stage design by julian mcfaul

June 23-27 & August 11-15
Water’s Edge Picnic Site, 6800 Rowland Ave Ave., Eden Prairie
  • Bryant Lake is a ‘Three Rivers District’ park with extensive woodland trails, shorelines and open prairie!
  • Swimming at nearby Bryant Lake.

Fort Snelling State Park, Minneapolis

stage design by julian mcfaul

July 7-11 & July 14-18
Shelter A, Picnic Island, 101 Fort Snelling State Trail, West St Paul
  • Minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
  • Picnic Island in the Minnesota River has plenty of broad open fields, tremendous cottonwoods and forested lowlands.
  • Swimming  at nearby Lake Snelling.

Lake Valentine, Arden Hills

June 9-13 & August 4-8
Oak Savannah Rambles, Bethel University Campus, 3900 Bethel Dr, St Paul
  • Located within the  protective wooded rambles of the university campus.
  • Plenty of gorgeous hilly terrain and shady oak savannah.
  • Lots of forested trails and hidden spaces to discover.
  • Swimming at nearby Lake Johanna.


All classes below include a group castle project, the construction of individual arms, armor, live action games and swimming!

Week 1 Castle Adventure “Dark Ages Village/Catapults & Siege Engines” · June 9-13

Lake Valentine, Bethel University Campus, Arden Hills · ages 8-15


stage design by julian mcfaul

Double focus week. Games and castle building among oak forests, steep hills and rolling valleys! In addition to the castle project, this week will also include time for laying out a grand village for our live-action games as well as building a few hefty water-balloon flingers that could include catapults, trebuchets or other devices like battering rams for breaching the castle walls.

Dwellings, shops, temples, jails, monasteries and other structures constructed from cardboard boxes can be designed and placed in different configurations for our village each day. This week could include more advanced live-action games. Will you be a warrior, sorceror, farmer, craftsperson, healer, thief? Will you defend the stables or lock yourself in the jail when the invaders attack? Compete with swords and brains.

Week 2 Castle Adventure “Towers” · June 23-27

CLASS FULL – Waitlist Only

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie · ages 8-14

stage design by julian mcfaul


This week  puts the ‘group castle project’ in the forefront and uses Bryant Lake Regional Park’s terraced earthworks to construct a fortification of unusual height. Who shall inhabit the highest reaches of your castle’s towers? Wizards, monarchs, prisoners, archers? Games in Bryant Lake Regional Park can be laid out in the fields before the castle or along the extensive woodland trails. Small villages, siege engines or woodland surprises are other possible supportive group projects.

Week 3 Castle Adventure · “Kingdoms & Villages” July 7-11

Fort Snelling State Park, Minneapolis · ages 8-15

stage design by julian mcfaul


Picnic Island in the Minnesota River is perfect for dividing into different Shires each with it’s own village and defense structures. In addition to the castle project, this week will also include time for laying out small villages for our live-action games. Different villages can band together to strike at the castle, trade with and compete against each other in games of multi-polar capture the flag. This week could also include more advanced role-playing games. Will you be a farmer, craftsperson, healer, thief, warrior? Will you join the monastery or study magic in a hermit’s shack? Compete with swords and brains.

Week 4 Castle Adventure · “Catapults and Siege Engines” July 14-18

CLASS FULL – Waitlist Only

Fort Snelling State Park, Minneapolis · ages 8-14

stage design by julian mcfaul

In addition to a splendid castle, this week’s special project will focus on group-designed siege engines for going under, over or through the castle walls! What stories will you create in your resplendent war machines? Siege towers. Spiked troop transports. Battering Rams. Catapults. Trebuchets. Onagers. Mangonels. Cardboard boulders and water balloons! Fort Snelling offers a range of terrain across an island almost a quarter of a mile in diameter. Territories can be claimed and defended by different competing houses in games of multi-polar capture-the-flag!

Week 5 Castle Adventure · “Slings and Arrows” August 4-8

Lake Valentine, Bethel University Campus, Arden Hills · ages 8-14

stage design by julian mcfaul

In addition to the activities listed for all Castle Adventure sessions, this week will focus on crafting fine, light-weight bows and far-reaching foam-based arrows. Other missile weapon projects may include slings, spears, primitive crossbows, roman scorpions and ballistas. Time will be set aside for archery practice and competition as well as for strategy sessions that focus on the effective use of longbow archers in games of capture the flag. The steep hills and rolling valleys of the oak savannah by Lake Valentine offer fantastic settings for archery role-play!

Week 6 Castle Adventure “The Labyrinth”· August 11-15

CLASS FULL – Waitlist Only

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie · ages 8-14

stage design by julian mcfaul

The group castle project during this week will be built around a giant maze for campers to explore, attack and defend. What monsters lay waiting inside? What traps can you design? What fiendish tricks can you play on visitors? Secret chambers with hidden wealth? Rotating and changing corridors? Watch from the towers as your hapless friends wander the passageways in hopeless search for an exit! Supportive projects can include puppets and costumes of beasts and monsters, minotaurs, basilisks, dragons.

Register Here!



AiC also does Giant Maze Birthday Parties!

Contact Julian with questions.

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