With schools closed and child care options at a minimum, parents and carers may be struggling to entertain their kids. With this in mind, many American Camp Association (ACA) accredited camps are rallying to keep the camp experience accessible with virtual camps. These camps are aimed at parents and carers whose regular plans were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are likely juggling working from home with providing activities for their children.
Transforming their usual camp experience to online versions, these virtual camps are run primarily through social media channels, YouTube and Zoom, and include programming and parent resources. Activities vary from nature walks, science talks, arts and crafts, patches to earn at home, and homework help, all while allowing kids to shelter in place.
The benefits of attending camp are now clearer than ever before, thanks to the ACA’s 5 Year Impact Study: a five-year-long research project looking into the effects of camp on their campers and how camps prepare youth for college, careers and adulthood. Some of the key takeaways from the study were that camp helps develop independence, experience outdoor fun and adventure and develop an affinity for nature, relaxation, accepting difference, living life unplugged and creating self-confidence. Plus, how to make a good s’more.
As with other businesses and industries, The ACA is paying close attention to the ongoing developments related to COVID-19, but at this time, camps are still working hard to prepare for a fun and educational summer ahead. The ACA will continue to follow the CDC’s guidance as we provide the camp community with resources and education. We encourage camps and families to use our webpage, Coronavirus Information for Camps (acacamps.org/resource-library/coronavirus-information-camps), for resources that include updated CDC information, free camp communicable disease webinars, Association of Camp Nursing responses and much more continuously updated content. As of today, the ACA remains optimistic that camp will happen this summer.
For more information, visit acacamps.org.