Are Virtual Summer Camps Worth It? What Is Their Difference With In-Person Summer Camps?
For a long time now, summer camp has been a rite of passage for most teens and youngsters. Summer camps are usually embraced enthusiastically when school closes in early summer and the children become anxious for adventure. Activities that involve canoeing, swimming, team sports, campfires, hiking, or simply hanging out in the incredible outdoors may be a refreshing change from the classroom.
For many families, the most challenging aspect of summer break is that it becomes somewhat less exciting at some point. The fun and novelty usually begin to wear off when the temperature rises. Since the usual activities may become boring, kids (and parents) might begin to count down the days remaining until school reopens.
You cannot change your school calendar, and you most likely don’t want to drop everything for a spontaneous trip. More so, with an ongoing pandemic, a trip right now wouldn’t be a wise choice. What you can do is, instead of an in-person summer camp, opt for a virtual camp to entertain your students.
Virtual summer camps vs. In-Person Summer Camps
Online/virtual camps provide students with the platform to interact, meet, and learn with their peers - all from the comfort of their households. The only requirement for these online camps is usually a computer with internet, audio, and video requirements.
Online camps are interactive, often much lower in cost, and typically comprise smaller instructor-to-student ratios. Apart from allowing counselors and campers to enjoy more online one-on-one time, it usually enables counselors to keep mentoring students even after the camp ends.
Choosing Virtual Summer Camps Over In-Person Summer Camps
Choosing to sign up your child for an online summer camp might be a challenging decision. Below are some of the key advantages.
- Developing new skills
Signing your kids up for innovative, challenging, and engaging summer camps will help them develop new skills, as they expand on ones they already have. Suppose your child needs to learn how to speak another language, or to play an instrument. Perhaps they are bothering you to learn a particular tech-based skill, such as coding. You can find all of these subjects, and much more, via virtual summer camps.
And although you can find free tutorials on YouTube, nothing compares to the daily, personalized feedback that your kid will receive through a summer camp. Even though it is through a computer, participating with the group improves their level of accountability and commitment, much like how adults find online fitness classes worth paying.
Does your child need constant stimulation? Does s/he get bored easily, but thrive in social situations? If so, virtual summer camps might be an ideal choice. Another advantage to this structure is that it could provide parents with a necessary break. Letting another person guide the fun and creativity may offer you the break you deserve to focus on another thing for a short period.
In case you have a child that likes connecting and interacting with people, choose a virtual camp. As with all other camps, they will become exposed to new individuals that they may not otherwise meet in school. More so, with a virtual camp, such individuals could be from anywhere.
The Disadvantages of Virtual Summer Camps
Although there are numerous positives related to online summer camps, there is no doubt that the virtual camp experience is like a shadow of the usual camp experience. Below are several reasons you might consider skipping this year
- Additional screen tim
The extra screen time is one aspect of virtual summer camps that most parents are wary of. Suppose your kid has a two-hour camp session during the afternoon and then wishes to watch a movie in the evening. This is possibly more than four hours of screen time. Most parents find this to be too much time.
In general, it is also worth noting that most social scientists claim that the quality of screen time also plays a vital role. Your kids might still not get engaged as they watch their favorite movie in the evening. However, the camp session in the afternoon will be far from the same thing. The truth is that many professionals claim that, in regards to screen time, it would be prudent to consider quality over quantity. When it comes to camp screen time, children are staying connected, staying social, and building skills - which are all positive things that might outweigh the additional screen time.
Besides, both children and adults may feel tired after prolonged periods in front of a screen. Even if your kid’s camp has a lot of activity, it might still be hard for them to stare at the screen for many hours.
Many virtual summer camps offer free programs, and you only need to search for them. Nonetheless, most camps are still trying to cover their costs. This is quite understandable because the summer camp industry generates an estimated $18 billion annually.
On the other hand, numerous families have encountered a drop in their income, and this can make it difficult to pay a premium for a camp.
If you can get a camp that ensures your child remains occupied for a few hours, allowing you to set aside some time, then paying for virtual camps might be worth it.
Do you want to have your child signed up for an online summer camp this year? Academic Entertainment offers camps throughout the year and has options that work perfectly for both in-person and virtual