Jugend hackt with the Chaos Computer Club

Camping and hacking are not necessarily an obvious combination, but since 1999 the Chaos Computer Club has been running a summer camp in the open air every four years and laying the corresponding infrastructure for it, i.e. electricity and internet. This year, around 6000 hackers met in the Mildenberg Brick Work Park, an open-air museum 60 kilometers north of Berlin, to exchange ideas, to tinker and hack together.

Jugend hackt was at the camp this time and organized a diverse program for young people between the ages of 12 and 21 for five days in August. As organizer, Jugend hackt also took 90 young people to the camp and set up the Youth Village there – for the first time in the history of the CCC summer camp.

Jugend Village featuring the Verstehbahnhof

Together with volunteers, the team put up a total of 2.6 tons of tent equipment to make a tent village, where the young people have a place to hack together, but also to sleep and eat. The Verstehbahnhof as a local project from Fürstenberg also brought along its Make-Space, so that the youngsters had a laser cutter, a screen printing station and a professional embroidery machine at their disposal, in addition to small tools such as soldering irons and 3D printers.

The presentations on the Youth Village stage also offered a variety of insights, for example into computer science studies, the Flutter framework app or the Kenyan tech scene. Participants themselves kicked off the event: Dimi and David (16 and 15 years old) presented OpenStreetMap in a 45-minute lecture and brought interactive examples that show how you can get involved in the open map service yourself. Konrad (19 years old) showed in his presentation how to retrieve weather data from space.

And of course, the daily workshops offered something for everyone, from beginners to the more advanced: there was soldering on various projects, drivers were written or code snippets were collected; water drops were transported with the help of a marble run, electromagnetic waves were made audible and much more.

Here, too, the young people had the opportunity to get involved: in the multi-part workshop "Crochet hooks and soldering irons to your own game", Luca (17 years old) helped other participants to build a functional gamepad and program their own game characters. Max (15) also brought a typewriter that, connected to a camera and Raspberry Pi, happily typed out ASCII-style portraits of participants.

Participating and getting involved

In addition, there was of course the large camp with all its possibilities – it was not uncommon to see the Jugend hackt participants soldering late at night in other areas of the camp, sitting at lectures, discussing or exploring the camp with other young people and actively helping out in many places.

After a thunderstorm during the set-up, there was only sunshine for the whole week. This was not the only reason why it was great that the CCC had arranged for two volunteer lifeguards to go with youngsters every day to the nearby lake in the afternoon.

There was also plenty of other fun in the Village: karaoke evenings spontaneously organized by young people on the big stage, rounds of werewolf games, or lounging on the comfortable sofas under the big sun awning – one participant summed up the mood with his question: "Can't the camp just go on for a whole month?"

Unlike the usual Jugend hackt events, where the entire infrastructure is provided for the young people so they can focus entirely on their projects, the camp was a co-creative process from the start. The participants were able to get involved in communal tasks during the preparation and to shape their time together on site, and especially in the youth advisory board they were already actively involved in the run-up. In addition to the above-mentioned lectures, workshops and spontaneous leisure ideas, this also included organizing the catering under the guidance of a great kitchen team and continuously beautifying the Village.

During all five days, the young people were accompanied by educational team members who met regularly with reference groups of ten young people each. In addition, there was an awareness team, who had an open ear for any of the camp goers' problems.

Jugend hackt thrives on a large network of volunteer mentors, around twenty of whom helped make all this possible together with the full-time team. Also thanks to them, Jugend hackt at the Chaos Communication Camp 2023 will remain an unforgettable experience for all participants.

We are pleased to support the "Jugend hackt" initiative. We've been regularly reporting here for 10 years now on how young people are working to change the world with code.

Do you have any questions or comments? Then please leave us a comment.

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