Summer vacation is right around the corner which means no school and three months worth of free time for your kids. This also means finding ways to make sure they’re staying engaged and active in the summer. Whether you work full time or are a stay-at-home parent, finding enriching opportunities for your child to explore, be creative, and have fun is essential. After 2 years isolated in a pandemic, this summer of 2022 is the time to get your child into summer camp!
How do you figure out what type of camp is best for your child? The first step to think about is whether to put them in a virtual camp or an in-room camp. We’re going to lay out the benefits of both, and leave it up to you to figure out the best fit for your family.
Virtual camp can be a convenient way to build skills and meet new friends!
Virtual camp has been around for years, but has really taken off since the pandemic started in 2020. Online camps are extremely popular and have some amazing benefits!
- There’s more flexibility: You don’t need to think about transportation costs, or worry about driving and picking them up at certain times. Maybe you are on vacation for a week or live far from your nearest provider. As long as you have internet access and a laptop there are hundreds of topics to choose from.
- They can focus on specific skills: If your child has a certain hobby, passion, or interest in mind, attending virtual camp might be the better option. It’s easier to find a wider variety of classes online than it is in person since you are not limited to a location. For example, there are online camps for learning how to code in Python, or how to learn specific art skills.
- They can connect with kids from other states or other countries: How cool is it to have a penpal! Through making new friends, they’ll learn about other cultures and gain a larger perspective on the world. Virtual camp could also give them the chance to take classes with family or friends who live in other states!
- Could be easier to focus: Sometimes being in a loud classroom with a group of energetic kids can make it hard to focus on learning. Participating in virtual camp includes the luxury of a quieter, more controlled environment.
- Shorter time spans: If you’re unable to commit to a full day of camp, virtual camp might be the better fit. By taking an online program, your child can set aside only a few hours instead of a full day.
- Meeting kids who have similar interests: There is nothing better than being friends with people who have similar hobbies! For instance, two kids who take a coding class together could end up becoming great friends and start playing Roblox together, becoming lifelong friends.
In room camps can offer more hands-on activities.
Before we get into the pro’s of in-person camp, it’s important to know that there are two different types. Day camp is a general activity camp with counselors and doesn’t have a specific focus. A specialty camp is specifically geared for kids to focus on a topic such as coding, fashion design, or music. Despite the differences in topic, both day camp and specialty camp have the same benefits!
- Better for activities that require an in-person session: There are more hands-on activities available. For activities like soccer, engineering, or horse back riding, they’ll probably need to be in person. For coding and STEM, it’s not exactly necessary!
- Strengthens Social Skills: Being in a virtual camp, you’re still socializing and meeting new people, but an in person camp will help your child develop better social skills through teamwork and collaboration. Interacting in person rather than through a screen may be more effective.
- Change in Environment: After two years in a pandemic, it might be helpful for your child to go out and experience an activity outside the comfort of your own home. By doing so, they’ll gain independence and confidence!
- Helps with child care: If you’re a working parent struggling to provide child care for the day, summer camp is perfect! It’s an engaging, educational environment that keeps your child active and having fun all summer long.
- Meeting kids in their own community: Virtual camp is great for meeting people from other parts of the world, but in person summer camp helps kids who want to make connections in their area. If you recently moved or if your child is switching schools, in-person summer camp is great for making new friends!
Virtual camps and in-person camps both have their benefits, it just depends on what you believe is the best fit for your child and your family. Meeting new people, learning new skills, and building self esteem can all be achieved no matter the way it’s presented. Any type of summer camp is going to be an amazing experience!