To be honest I’m much more a raspberry pie kind of girl than a raspberry pi one. In fact, until very recently, I didn’t even know what one was.

Apparently it’s a computer that fits into a large matchbox… who knew?!

Raspberry Pi (e)Well, thankfully our friends at Tablet Academy Scotland are only too familiar with these wee beasties and, under the vision of our SU Scotland Communications guru (Emma Boyd), they helped us to run our very first Coder Camp during the Easter break. (I wanted to call it Geek Week but that was vetoed on the ground of it only being three nights long…)

So we found ourselves at Lendrick Muir with 16 super smart teens (and nearly-teens) and a handful of leaders – some of whom were as clueless on the whole raspberry pi thing as I was! And, quite honestly, we had a really fabulous time.

Our friends from Tablet Academy were just brilliant at facilitating us in two days of coding arcade games and gave us plenty of ideas for projects to continue at home – something that’s totally possible as each young person took away their raspberry pi at the end of the holiday. We also spent many an hour on the floor of the Glendevon Lounge programming robots to complete assault courses. 

We did persuade the young people into the fresh air once or twice – some of us made ourselves sick on the brand new King Swing and the whole cohort took part in our one shot music video, Immortals, taken from the closing credits of Big Hero 6, which we used in our Bible engagement times, looking at the themes of sacrifice and how each of us is uniquely coded to play our part in God’s story. Each of the team shared their unique coding with the rest of us, and we loved seeing how God brought together their stories to speak so meaningfully to us all.

Of course, the holiday wouldn’t have been complete without an actual edible raspberry pie, and our inimitable cooking team of Ros, Chris and Helen Brett made sure that we weren’t disappointed!

We are so excited by how this prototype event panned out and we can’t wait to see it develop in years to come. However, we don’t want to wait until next Easter for the next version, and so we’ve planned in some software updates in the form of several events over the course of the next year to build on our existing community. Who knows, maybe the next big advances in programming may come from within our number?!

Jenny Cheung

Jenny is the Independent Schools’ Worker in west & central Scotland. She’s also a mum of three and has a passion for the gym and the community choir she directs (the last two are not related!).