You should consider organising or participating in special events with your Dojo.
Being involved in events like Coolest Projects, which we discussed earlier in the course, can give the Ninjas a fantastic opportunity to meet other young coders whose projects they can learn from and be inspired by, and to build their confidence by sharing their own projects.
"Everything was perfect last year at Coolest Projects, I can't mention anything in special because everything was so new to me! I think the best thing was to meet other people with the same passions as me."
Matei, 10, Ninja, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
If you don't have events like this in your area, you could join up with other nearby Dojos to do a project together, or hold a project showcase together! Encourage your Ninjas to take part in Coolest Projects online, but make sure to celebrate as a community.
A good idea for adding some variety to your Dojo is to invite in a guest speaker from a nearby company, educational institution, maker space, etc. They can show off some cool stuff, talk about how they made it, and generally give Ninjas an idea of where their tech skills could take them in future. When inviting adult guests into your Dojo, keep in mind that you need to make sure you’re complying with local regulations around child safeguarding.
It's good to celebrate how far you've come! Many Dojos all around the world celebrate their birthdays with special parties. Who doesn't love an excuse to have a celebration, play some games, and have some snacks? Recreating the CoderDojo logo in the form of a birthday cake has been done by Dojos all around the world.
"CoderDojo Dungarvan recently celebrated its fifth birthday, for a variety of reasons: we wanted everyone who has come through the Dojo's doors over the last five years to know that they are the reason that the weekly sessions are still happening; we wanted to acknowledge and to celebrate each and every one of them, their involvement in our Dojo, and their achievements; we wanted to shout from the rooftops that CoderDojo needs to exist, deserves to be celebrated, and is there to be enjoyed by the local community; and we wanted our Ninjas to know that we will be sticking around to accommodate and support them while they look forward to their coding future. And what better way is there to do all that than to throw a party?"
Nora, champion of CoderDojo Dungarvan (Ireland)
What other kinds of special events could you run at your Dojo? Share your ideas below!