This summer, with many activities and camps cancelled due to the pandemic, what should parents do? Some parents are turning to online, or “virtual” camps to keep their kids occupied and happy. A new phenomenon, the virtual camp, brings activities and games into your home via your computer screen, under the direction of an online camp counselor. While most families prefer an on-site experience, virtual camps can be a great way to keep kids engaged in summer.
What should parents be looking for in these virtual camps? Here are five things to consider:
When you’re looking at a virtual camp, as with any activity for your kids, safety needs to be the first priority. Check to see that the company you are looking at does background-checks on its online counselors. Parents should ask questions about the screening process for anyone who is going to be online with their kids.
2. Skill-Building Opportunities
We’ve all read about the “brain drain” that happens during the summer. Kids seem to forget the information and processes they learned throughout the academic year, and teachers end up dedicating weeks to review at the start of the new school year. While virtual camps may not be the cure for brain drain, they can help kids stay sharp. Look for opportunities for kids to learn new things, build new skills, and nurture a love of learning.
3. “Rock-Star Instructors”
You want to see that this camp has the kind of instructors or counselors that will capture your kids’ attention. There are good people out there working with kids, but there are also “rock star instructors” who have a passion for learning that is contagious. Parents should look for camps with proven, engaging instructors and counselors. You want to watch a session they’ve done and evaluate them yourself. Otherwise, you risk having a bored child who feels like she “has to” go online every day, and the whole experience could backfire.
Virtual camps usually include other kids, including some your child may know. Many parents are worried about their kids’ lack of social interaction during the pandemic. You want to choose a virtual camp where you child can see others on their screen. Look for online camps that find ways to incorporate social skills and camaraderie in their activities.
When all is said and done, it’s summer, and kids need to have fun! They’ve worked hard in the classroom and online school and just want to relax for the next few months. You want virtual camp activities that complement your child’s interests and maybe introduce her to one or two new ones. Though kids may miss swimming and hiking this summer at their traditional camp, the right online camp can help make the virtual camp experience a good alternative at a time when many kids need it.
Our team at Flex Academies hopes it is a safe and fun summer for your family - even though we know it will be different. Please keep in mind, Flex ONE is offering virtual summer camps and if we are the right fit for your family, please check us out at: https://www.flexone.live/summer-virtual-camp.