What is a Cloud Club Camp?

What is a Cloud Club Camp?

Students, explore the wilderness of the AWS Cloud with a Cloud Club Camp!

Jen Looper
Amazon Employee
Published Apr 15, 2024

Ever heard of Cloud Club Camp? Curious about what it is? Keep reading!

An AWS Cloud Club Camp is an educational program offered from within AWS Cloud Clubs designed to help students learn about cloud computing concepts and develop practical skills using AWS services. Led by Cloud Club Captains well-trained to educate their peers, Camp is a unique peer-to-peer learning opportunity designed for 18+ students.
AWS Cloud Clubs are student-run user groups available globally. Learn about them on our web site and discover their locations on meetup.com, where they gather.

What are Camps?

Cloud Club Camps are:
  • Student-led and open to all
  • Available on the Workshop Studio platform, which provides sandboxes for provisioned events for a set period of time (but you can do the activity yourself outside of an event any time - you just need an AWS account to access the sandbox).
  • Student-friendly and scenario-based; you'll modernize the infrastructure of a fictitious CS department, build an event planning app for your student communities, and more.
  • Fun and engaging, lasting about three hours.
Cloud Club Camps are not:
  • Expensive
  • Boring
Quotes about Camp: "Can we do this every day?" --student in South Africa

Answering some questions

Who can attend?

Can only members of Cloud Clubs access these Camps? Well, yes and no. Yes, these Camps are available online freely and anyone can use the content to learn hands-on any time. But if you are part of a Cloud Club and your Captain has scheduled a Camp, you're in luck! You'll be able to access the temporary sandboxes included in each Camp. You'll get direct access, without the need for a credit card, into the AWS console.
Quotes about Camp: "it's really vital for [a] kick start." --student in India

What does a Camp include?

An AWS Cloud Club Camp typically includes the following components:
  1. Hands-on labs: Participants work through guided hands-on labs designed to teach them how to use various AWS services, such as Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), AWS Lambda (Serverless Computing), and more.
  2. Low-stakes quizzes and challenges to test knowledge and expand undertanding.
  3. Peer-led training: Cloud Club Captains primarily provide these training sessions, covering topics like cloud computing fundamentals, AWS architecture, security, and building using serverless technologies using best practices.
  4. Networking opportunities: Camp also provides opportunities for participants to network with each other fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  5. A badge: Participants receive a custom Cloud Club Credly badge after the event. The trainer also gets a special badge!
Quote about Camp: "This session made my goal clear towards cloud computing and I learned a lot throughout the session. It was a marvelous session with jolly ambiance." --student from India

What topics are covered?

There are currently three Camps:
Infrastructure for the Rest of Us - At school, your Computer Science instructor is accustomed to using local equipment for running classroom applications. The class gradebook and a web portal for the CS department’s swag are hosted on a dusty Unix box stored in a closet. This equipment is starting to show its age - the software needs upgrading, the machine crashes often which requires a reboot, plus it’s not very secure. Passwords don't get reset as needed, and have become widely shared amongst the students. In the French department, students hack into the server to gain access to other systems. Lately, they've been doing this with a high success rate! In addition, the CS department’s swag is so popular with more students ordering t-shirts and fidget spinners, the web portal has gotten slower and less reliable. The professor is fully aware that something needs to be done to lock down the classroom’s sensitive material while allowing more CS swag orders with no hassle, but how?
“Why can’t we use the Cloud to run these apps? It’s flexible, secure, more cost effective, and we won’t have to worry about frequent outages!”, you suggest. The professor is only too happy to have you, the most capable CS student in the program, move your class’s infrastructure to the Cloud. While you’re at it, you can help your fellow students understand this Cloud Computing business too. After a brief analysis of the situation, you suggest the following tasks:
  • Get familiar with navigating the capabilities of cloud computing on AWS by creating resources using some of the available services.
  • Control access to the classroom environments with accounts and security controls that grant permission to individual users.
  • Build a virtual network in the Cloud and develop applications in isolation.
  • Use cloud storage for the classroom’s gradebook data or images for department swag sold on the web portal.
IAM policy snapshot
Building an IAM policy for your university

Machine Learning with APIs: In our university, we have a web app called AcadeML that is used by researchers and students from all disciplines to review photographs, images, and scans of documents.
AcadeML is used in different ways:
  • a researcher in culinary arts might use it to review recipe cards (with cooking instructions and a photo of the finished food)
  • a history professor might use it to analyze old handwritten letters
  • a botany student might use it to review photos from their field expeditions
You have been tasked with adding ML functionality to AcadeML. Currently the app shows a list of images and also allows new images to be uploaded and displayed. There are some buttons to analyze the image with ML but currently they do nothing. The functionality required is to allow any image be analyzed with machine learning and display the results when these buttons are clicked. The two techniques we will use are object labelling and optical character recognition.
ML API app Camp
Building a machine-learning infused web app

Serverless Web Apps with Amplify: Congratulations, you have been hired by Crustacean Computing as a junior software engineer!
The app you will be working on is MUSSEL: My University's Sports & Social Events List.
This app allows a student to browse events in their university and book tickets for upcoming events. The app has been developed as a prototype, and will be sold to many different universities.
Right now it is semi-complete. It only runs locally. It has no authentication and no persistent data (so the user cannot book tickets). It needs you to add cloud services to make it all work properly.
The senior software engineer has asked you to use AWS as Crustacean Computing uses that for its cloud services. She has also asked you to use AWS Amplify to make it easier to provision and deploy services the app needs.
Building a web app with Amplify
Building a Serverless Web App using Amplify

Want to Camp with us? Join your local Cloud Club!

The primary goal of an AWS Cloud Club Camp is to equip students and new-to-cloud learners with the knowledge and skills needed to leverage the AWS Cloud effectively, enabling them to build and deploy cloud-based applications, services, and solutions, hands on, in a practical, student-friendly way. Curious about experiencing a Cloud Club Camp? Join your local Cloud Club and make sure your Captain will organize one for your community!

About the Authors

This article was written by Jen Looper, Head of Academic Advocacy at AWS, and the Camps were authored by Academic Advocates Curtis Evans and Stephen Howell, all of whom are part of the Academic Advocacy (AA) Team. The AA Team works to build and curate a quality journey for postsecondary-aged students worldwide by crafting great content, cool events, and a valuable community experience on campuses globally called Cloud Clubs. Learn more about Academic Advocacy's initiatives on our website.

Any opinions in this post are those of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of AWS.