Northeastern State University's Continuing Education department kicked off the first week of its Summer Youth Academies with a Minecraft camp for ages 6-8.

Minecraft is the video game phenomenon that has captured the fascination of children and adults alike. Players work together or individually to build their own unique world, limited only by their own creativity.

The Minecraft camp tasked children to compete and work together to complete specific challenges.

"Each day, students are tasked with a building challenge," said David Fuller, Minecraft camp instructor. "They are given a theme or a word and work together to build their interpretation of that theme."

Continuing Education has offered the Minecraft camp to students for several years. This summer marks the first time a student is assisting with teaching.

"This camp is about teaching cooperation, but we're also trying to let kids learn leadership responsibilities," said Fuller.

Max Barnett, 10, was asked to serve as an assistant instructor after being a camper for six years.

"I'm trying to get everybody here to like Minecraft," said Barnett. "I really like it because it's a game where you can play with friends, build, destroy and fight monsters."

Barnett has made friends with students in the camp, including Riley Harp, 8.

"I play Minecraft with my mom, my friends and online," said Riley. "I like the camp because I can play with a lot of other kids at once."

Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their work to parents on Fridays. Parents can view their uploaded portfolios on the Seesaw application, available on Android and iOS.

Two Minecraft camps for ages 6-8 are offered: June 3-7, and June 10-14. During the following week, June 17-21, the advanced Minecraft camp is available for children over 9 years old.

"We still have a lot of availability for next week," said Fuller. "The advanced class is almost filled up."

Camps cost $160 per week and include a T-shirt, supplies and all snacks and lunches for the week. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at Bagley Hall. Parents can drop children off early at 7:30 a.m. or pick them up late by 5 p.m. for an extra $25 fee.