Retropie, Old School Video Games! Middle School and Older Camper Program Idea.

I hope everyone is doing good and finding creative ways to occupy your time and mind during this crazy time. I recently came across this system on an ad on Facebook from It is a retro emulation station with over 6,000 games from various systems running on a Retropie 3b. This basically means, this system can load any game without having to have the cartridge or video game system in front of you. If you grew up on these games like I did, you will appreciate not having to blow into the cartridge or have something not load because the disc is scratched. I am not sure how long this idea has been around, I do know this concept has increased in popularity when Nintendo released in small demand about 2 years ago the Mini Nintendo System that played tons of games for only $59.99. If you are wondering how this can be implemented into your youth program, I will explain!

The latest video games are expensive, the controllers are complicated sometimes for younger audiences, and the older games/systems have tons of options. Puzzles, Sports, Adventure, and just a wide variety of creative concepts. In youth programming, you definitely want to have a balance of video games in your program. It shouldn’t take over the program, kids/teens should have a healthy balance of anything you are doing with them. My vision for this awesome system is to utilize as a club or clinic. I call clubs or clinics in my programming a choice for kids to go to during the day. Not all kids/teens like video games. You may be reading this and be completely uninterested. The one thing with youth programming is that there is a wide audience that wants options for their day. You can call this time of you program day anything you want, I use the word clubs during After School and clinics during Summer Camp. It is all your preference. I would name the club or clinic “Retro Video Gaming.” We would teach the skill around how to create a video game emulator like this one, how to play some of these games, the history of video games, and careers in the video game industry. Epic Games is based out of Cary, NC. This is near my program. There are also tons of video game info on YouTube and online to teach them. I would even have them create their own video game, by writing out the concept, drawing a story board, and creating a small business plan. You can filter your clinic around the age group. To keep any age group involved, you definitely want to play the games to get inspired, learn, and have fun. My Top 10 games are….1.NBA Jam (Any version) 2. Super Mario 64 3. Super Mario 3 4. Kid Icarus 5. Bubble Bobble 6. Skate or Die 7. NHL on Sega/SNES 5 8. California Games 9. NFL Blitz 10. Streets of Rage. I am not a big Zelda fan, but teaching kids how to play this would be really cool. it is such a challenging game.

This system I purchased comes with two wired controllers (5ft) (they were sold out of the wireless controllers), but working with kids the wired controllers are fine, they always stay charged. It has an hdmi cord, and AC power adapter. The last thing it has is the Retropie system (Mini Super Nintendo). So very simple and easy to setup at your program. You can move it and go anywhere. The system was around $120 with shipping, and usually takes 5-7 business days. This price can work with your camp or program budget. To learn more about this system, go to and they will also respond to emails or messages on Facebook. I would give this system a 9 out of 10. It would be perfect if it had more college basketball and football options and the Nintendo 64 games wouldn’t glitch. They tell you this before you buy, so no fault on them! Video Games are not bad, they are great in moderation. Add them into your program, teach kids a little history too, and how this can be a career. In youth development, it is your job to teach them skill development. I have more fun ideas posted in the Resource Zone on my website. Check this out to make your program 1 percent better!

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