As we all know, COVID-19 has disrupted many St. Louisans’ summer plans. One plan you don’t have to cross off your list is summer camp. Although many events and programs have been cancelled this year, there are still a plethora of terrific opportunities on the summer calendar. One activity to consider for your children this summer is virtual camp. Read on to learn more about virtual summer camps.

Virtual Summer Camp - Girl at table with laptop and bananas

What Is Virtual Summer Camp?

A virtual summer camp is a summer camp program that is held remotely online instead of in-person at a physical location. With virtual camps, campers don’t need to leave the house to enjoy the benefits of camp programs. They meet online through video conferencing technology and do activities at home. Depending on the program, camp supplies may be delivered to the camper’s home or picked up by a caregiver at a specified location. 

There are countless purposes for summer camps — academic learning, practicing sports, exploring new hobbies, connecting with friends, etc. These are all parts of our lives that COVID-19 has impacted. Summer camps are a great way to practice some of these activities and fill the gaps, but this summer more than ever it is challenging for many kids to participate in programs outside the home. For many families, virtual camps are the next best way to have a safe and accessible summer experience while developing important skills.

One way virtual camps are just like regular summer camps is that every program is unique! This is new territory for many programs, and camps are trying new things. Here are a few examples of the types of structure and activities your child will experience at a virtual summer camp.

iD Tech Summer Tech Camps at Washington University in St. Louis

There are several different online summer camp options at Washington University for this upcoming season. These include coding, game development, robotics and design for kids and teens.

The iD Tech camps at Washington University are taught by top talent recruited from elite universities. Even though camp will not be in person this year, young people who choose to participate will greatly benefit from this learning experience. The camp includes the hottest software and hardware, gamified learning for long-term success, official iD tech diploma and skill certification, 12 online iD master classes, a limited edition iD tech t-shirt, and more.

These iD Tech camps offer the highest quality remote instruction possible, giving students an opportunity to sharpen their STEM skills and bond with new friends all from the comfort of their own homes. There are structured, weeklong sessions available with five students maximum per instructor. The schedule will include two hours of live instruction and peer collaboration plus two hours of self-paced project development per day.

Explore iD Tech Camps

Circus Harmony Online Summer Camps

Circus Harmony is offering new Online Circus Summer Camps this year. The week-long beginner camps will have two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Kids will learn skills like juggling, balancing, and clowning while building their strength, flexibility, and hand-eye coordination. Each camp will include a Friday Spotlight where kids can show the skills they’ve learned. 

There is a prop box of supplies to purchase for your camper that includes juggling balls, a spinning plate, a hula hoop, a peacock feather, and a Circus Harmony t-shirt. 

Because these camps are virtual, Circus Harmony’s amazing programs are available to kids all across the US and Puerto Rico this year! 

Explore Circus Harmony Online Summer Camp Sessions

Mad Science Summer Camps for Kids & Teens

This summer, Mad Science introduced “At Home” camps which will have kids exploring the fun world of science at home! These virtual camps include materials and activities for kids to do at home with guidance from the camp’s Mad Scientist. The program’s goal is to give your kids a fun science learning experience for about 3 hours a day with a combination of online guidance as well as independent fun science exploration!
 
Mad Science camps offer a daily combination of in-class discovery and exploration, games and activities, and hands-on applications of scientific principles. Children touch, see, hear, smell and taste what science is really all about. Programming includes simple, real world science activities that allow even the youngest of campers to enjoy science. Campers create, build and assemble a variety of take-home projects while exploring how science affects the world around us. Programs explore an array of topics including chemistry, robotics, rocketry, forensics and more! Children have so much fun, they forget they’re learning!

Explore Mad Science Virtual Camp Sessions

Check Blueprint4Summer STL for Summer Resources

Finding the perfect virtual summer camp for your child is simple using the Blueprint4Summer STL search app. It’s free and easy to use! Start here, then filter your search by category, age, location, cost, gender, date, and more. You’ll get a list of summer camp sessions that fit your criteria with links to learn more and get registered, plus tools to help plan your summer.

 

Right now is an exciting time for summer camp. Not only are camps being challenged to innovate, but the changes are helping make camp more accessible. Blueprint4Summer’s mission is to get more kids better access to camp programs and educational opportunities. Some of the greatest barriers to access are things like ability and needs, transportation and location, timing, and cost. The growing number of virtual camp programs will help to break down those barriers and improve access. As much as we look forward to things getting “back to normal” in the future, we hope this trend toward summer camp accessibility continues.