COVID-19 and Day Camps
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed things so much this year, and it just feels like the world has hit the pause button. The fact that everyone is instructed to stay home and schools being closed can be challenging to comprehend, especially to younger children. They cannot go out to play, cannot see their friends physically, and are restricted to their homes. They are missing out on school time and the social interaction. This situation also raises questions in their minds about the summer camps they were so excited about.
Classrooms have been shifted to online platforms, and so will summer camps. At least, partially. But don’t give up on it yet, because, this way, children can still interact with each other, participate in various activities, and have fun by sitting in their room. All they need is enrollment in the virtual summer camp and a laptop. They may not get the same experience they used to get by physically being in the summer camps, but it’s the new normal that we all are starting to get used to.
As a summer camp organizer and activity designer, even though you would not be able to fill in the entire space because of social distancing norms, you have an absolute unlimited opportunity to let a part of this experience go online. And who says these new experiences cannot be equally productive, fun, and engaging?
Although the concept has potential, it is challenging to give kids the experience of a live summer camp. We have some tips and tricks how these virtual classrooms and summer camps can become fun.
Mix up in-person and virtual experience
Depending on where you are, you may not be able to fill your classroom up to capacity. What do you do? You make it exciting to invite maybe half of your enrolled class to the classroom, while the other half joins you all at home. Now, a couple of days later, you allow the virtual students to come in physically while the in person students join from home. Everyone gets to experience both, and children will be excited. Yes, for working parents that may not be a possibility, but feel free to take preferences.
However, as you open, do ensure you have kept the public guidelines issued by your Governor, County or City in mind. The CDC Guidelines for Businesses is also something that will help you stay on track.
Regardless of the type you choose, Twishr can help you keep attendance to a limit.
Children have short attention spans, and gathering attention becomes even more difficult when you’re online. Heck, even adults have trouble focusing on Zoom meetings and you zone in and out depending on when you’re needed to speak. Add more variety than you would.
For example if you’re a chess class, you would want to include an hour of painting or craftwork in between. Or even storytelling and building out the characters out of construction paper and glue. Students will tell their stories during the live session so that everyone can listen to it. And of course, the kids will be encouraged by sending them online decorated colorful certificates for participating in the activity.
COVID-19 has opened up one huge potential for virtual summer camps – teaming up with other Activity Owners. Never before could this have been possible, because the logistics of scaling in the virtual world is a lot less than the physical world. Like we said, if you’re a chess class, team up with an activity center that focuses on crafting or pottery. Allow the children and parents choose but the combinations can be endless.
Expand your base
When its virtual, you are no longer restricted to the neighborhoods that you serve. Open up to the endless possibilities. Twishr lets you do that, and then some. When you list your activity you open up to virtual and to parents and students outside your own Zip code. Go ahead, make the best of this opportunity.
Throw in a healthy dose of competition and creativity. Nothing excites children more. Set up a competition with some exciting twists for example chess tournaments online with chess apps, art competitions with painting on computers, and writing camps on computers.
Schedule small group sessions
Like we said, children have a very short attention span. Make the most of it by scheduling smaller groups of children together at one time so you’re able to allow them to focus. Hire an extra set of hands to help, and feel free to rotate coaches. Keep constant reassurance to help boost the children’s confidence and keep them engaged. Twishr lets you maintain an activity by activity roster for coaches.
Do something silly
Well, believe it or not, you are vying for eyeballs against YouTubers and Instagrammers. Do something silly, something different to stand out. Who knows, maybe you just find your side hustle.
Make it fun for the entire family
Keep an hour or so of activity that involves the parents. If your last assignment of the day for example involves baking cookies, have the parents be part of that. Hold the award ceremony or the competition along with the parents. What is better than children and healthy dose of competition? Parents and children competing together. And then, if well executed, they keep coming back week after week.
Virtual summer camps are new, and that means only one thing. It is limited only by imagination. It is a compromise, but it does not have to be a subpar experience. The nature of things has changed, but the power of internet is unlimited.
Twishr lets you schedule virtual summer camps, thoughtfully integrated within the parents app, so its all in one smooth flow. To learn more and see how Twishr can help you run your virtual summer camps this year, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe, stay strong! We are Open with Caution!