Summer is almost here and for the first time in a long time, kids will likely not be going to summer camp this year. This rite of passage has been temporarily postponed due to social distancing and lockdowns. But is this really the end of summer, or the beginning of a more educationally-charged and family-oriented summer season?
Imagine if your child could be kept busy, engaged, and motivated to learn while still having time to do cartwheels in the backyard. Wouldn’t that be more fun? Think about a summer where your child has access to educators and time to learn skills that will set them up for success 365 days a year. Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate? What if your kids could enjoy this summer where the camp comes to them - whether they are quarantined in a condo or having a socially distanced day out in the park. Your child can still be occupied and have fun at the same time. No more hearing your kids grumble, “I’m bored. I have nothing to do.”
Online camps solve all your problems!
Even after COVID restrictions are lifted, you will no longer have to scramble at the beginning of the year to get your child a spot at camp. You don’t have to book your holidays months ahead to accommodate for camp, and you don’t have to listen to your young ones and teens whine about how they would rather be at camp with their friends than at home. Online programs allow both parents and kids to get exactly what they want!
The medium might have changed, but not the message: there is absolutely no reason why your child cannot be engaged, having fun and with their friends over summer. And while parents may worry that their kids are not really “with” their friends and the social impacts of this distancing, we all know that what our kids mean by “hanging”—even before COVID happened, was kids together in a room, taking out their phones and tagging each other in memes while sitting beside each other. Being in LIVE virtual learning environments actually makes your child interact more. It’s really hard to sit passively and text someone when you are on a zoom call!
We often hear parents ask what their kids will “actually accomplish” online. In my opinion, a lot—probably more than they could in person. In the past 7 weeks of running recognized and successful online programs, I have been astonished by the quality of deliverables our students have delivered. In our virtual Young Entrepreneurs program, kids have launched over 30 businesses and have raised nearly $20,000 for various worthy causes. Being online prompts kids to think big. In-person, they would have likely created the obvious lemonade stands. But online, forced to create digital products, they were able to launch virtual music concerts to global audiences. At in-person camps, kids might have created clay pots to sell, whereas our online Young Entrepreneurs have already published 4 books on Amazon.
Online camps effectively shift the gears of your child’s imagination. This week, our Young Entrepreneurs created a novel product called a “video book”. They took an original concept (a book) and turned it into something more interactive: a highly engaging content called a “video book”. Imagination wins every time.
Being online is making kids more aware of the world. In a world that has slowed to a near stop, these kids have time to actually hear and absorb news of what is happening in the world around them. In our Camp Millionaire program, we teach kids about financial literacy and managing money, and ultimately, arm kids with the real knowledge to invest in a virtual portfolio. Before COVID, about half the class would invest in the most recognizable and popular stocks, like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.
Over the past few weeks, we see that kids are choosing to invest more in companies and countries that are more niche and less well-known in the business world—from medical electronic manufacturers in Mumbai to vanilla bean growers in Madagascar- a sign that they themselves have realized that opportunities exist even in far-flung places. Our kids are able to understand and absorb so much more about the world and the implications of the news. This environment creates the most beneficial learning opportunities.
Online programs also give your child a unique opportunity to work with kids around the world—other global citizens who share the same dreams and desires. Our online programs include kids from Dubai, France, Holland, England, South America and Canada who all work together as one to create a product, business or portfolio. Imagine your 10-year-old working on a project with a child from Holland—all from the safety of your home. How incredible is that?
The choice all of us as parents have to make this summer is this: scratch-off summer and resign yourself to a few months of your child binge-watching Netflix, or embrace the opportunity of online education and show our kids that even when everything around them shuts down, opportunities and innovation open up.