The main aim of many summer camps for kids is cultural, athletic, and educational development. Summer camp surroundings allow children to learn and master new skills. Sending young campers on a summer day camp can leave a lifelong impact on their growth. In this article, we are going to discuss the following.
- What to consider in a summer camp for kids in the era of Covid-19
- How to enjoy an engaging and successful virtual summer camp
- How much does a summer camp for kids cost?
- High-quality camp care packages for campers
- Exciting STEM Activities for an engaging Summer Camp for Kids Program
- A summer camp for kids is a perfect learning opportunity
What to consider in a summer camp for kids in the era of Covid-19
The best summer camps give children a chance to engage in outdoor activities, learn and nurture their skills, and make new friends. Many schools across the world closed during the spring break following the rise of Covid-19 pandemic infections. As normalcy slowly returns, many parents are searching for a camp program to help their kids meet their peers away from home.
However, Covid-19 infections are still on the rise in different parts of the world. As a result, parents are worried about the safety of their children at a sleepaway camp. Let us discuss some of the factors to consider when looking for an overnight camp for your young campers this summer.
Does the Summer Camp have Strategies in Place to Ensure Kids Comply with Coronavirus Safety Measures?
Summer camp for kids should have age-appropriate methods to ensure kids:
- Maintain a safe distance from one another
- Practice proper hygiene
- All kids aged two years and above wear face coverings where possible
Wearing a mask throughout the day can be difficult for kids. Summer camp supervisors should remind them (the young campers) regularly. Staff at the sports camp should also comply with these safety measures. Supervisors should ensure that hand sanitizing and hand washing facilities are readily accessible.
How will Young Campers Move around During the Summer Program?
Camp organizers should keep kids in small groups complete with allocated staff throughout to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Will Activities Be Conducted Outdoors or Indoors?
Having outdoor activities where there is more room to maintain social distance and enjoy fresh air lowers the risk of contracting Covid-19. Still, camp supervisors should have measures in place to prevent the spreading of germs. For example, they can restrict sharing of equipment for performing arts campers. All equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after every use.
How will the Summer Camp Monitor Staff and the kids for Sickness?
Enquire from camp directors to understand how they intend to monitor campers and staff for signs of sickness. These measures could include daily temperature checks and evaluation of symptoms. Summer camp supervisors should ensure that staff perform these steps respectfully, safely, and in adherence to privacy laws and the laid down local public health guidelines.
Have the Summer Camp for Kids Staff been Trained to Handle Kids with Special Needs?
Attending camp away from home can be scary for some kids, especially those that have special needs. Some of them are anxious about being in new places and meeting new people. Experts recommend that camp health staff should have specialized training in handling the emotional well-being and overall health of a child.
Camp counselors should have proper training to help campers relax whenever they get stressed. Camp directors should strive to meet the needs of each camper. It is worth mentioning that some kids with special needs require specialized accommodation. These special arrangements help them have a memorable summer camp experience and guarantee safety.
If your kid has special needs, you should discuss it with your private health provider and the camp directors. This way, you will choose a suitable accommodation from the camp options with ease.
What Steps does the Summer Camp Take when Someone Gets Sick?
All basketball camps should have a laid down plan on the measures to take if campers or staff members become sick. The approach should comply with both the WHO and local public health policies and guidelines on responding and reporting suspected Covid-19 cases. Camp directors and supervisors should know where Covid-19 testing centers are and if it is part of the arts camps response arrangement.
How to Enjoy an Engaging and Successful Virtual Summer Camp
One of the most popular public health guidelines of flattening the coronavirus pandemic curve is staying at home. While this is a great plan, it means that enthusiastic campers need alternative ideas to enjoy camp sessions. What a better way to do that than organizing virtual summer camps for kids? Virtual summer camps are becoming popular by the day. Read on to learn how to run one.
Maintain a Simple Virtual Camp Program
Going for field trips may not be possible at the moment. However, this does not mean you cannot have an exciting summer camp experience. Simple game design activities and ideas go a long way in making a virtual summer camp fun for the campers.
Practice if you want to Achieve Perfection
The virtual world is steadily evolving, and there are numerous exciting activities for instructors and campers of different age groups. One of the best methods that instructors can use to acquire a successful instructing approach is to try them. You can organize a virtual summer camp with your kids or friends’ kids. Once the virtual summer camp ends, ask the participants for feedback on what you should change to improve the experience. Camp staff should connect and work together to develop an inventive and engaging approach that works.
It is normal to think about a project when it comes to summer camp for kids of a different age group. The idea of a virtual summer camp should not be about completing complex projects. Instead, create an environment where your campers can:
- Interact and engage with their peers
- Create, exercise their skills, and express themselves
- Interact and engage with you
Ensure Activities are Balanced
Maintain a balance between a large group and small group camp activities. Kids get bored fast. One way of keeping them glued to their screens is to keep your performances short and exciting.
A Small Group is Easy to Work with
Experts recommend that every camp supervisor or counselor should handle a group of six campers.
Handling Larger Camp Gatherings
When having activities for large groups of summer camp for kids campers, use polls to make the experience engaging. Surveys are a critical consideration to make when choosing a virtual summer camp conference platform. Shared whiteboards and Q&A chats can be ideal and interactive for large groups.
Choose an Appropriate Virtual Camp Conferencing Platform
Conference platforms are different. While some are perfect for an online summer camp for kids, others are too complex for the kids and instructors to navigate. Choose a conference platform that meets your child’s needs. It should be intuitive without requiring a complicated setup. It should be user-friendly for the instructors and should come with engaging and educational tools. These features can help you run different types of activities.
Embrace Educational Opportunities
A virtual camp has numerous educational benefits for your children, as we shall see below.
- There have minimal distractions. Young campers listen and focus more keenly to the instructors
- A virtual camp helps kids develop self-expression skills. During the camping period, the kids should explain any problems they encounter to their instructors verbally, and as accurately as possible. These could include problems with their ID tech connection or sound.
- It is an ideal way of improving listening skills. Campers soon figure out that they need to listen while another participant speaks and wait for their turn to speak.
How much does a Summer Camp for Kids Cost?
Sending young campers to a summer camp for kids program can be expensive, especially for parents working in the United States. On average, parents in New York City would have to spend $990 per child.
Some parents say they plan to spend more than $2,000 per child for a memorable Manhattan summer camp for kids program. This cost can be high for parents who have more than one child. If you are struggling to find camp options for your kid, you may want to consider nonprofit organizations like YMCA clubs. Many of these offer fun and engaging fine arts for kids in NYC.
High Quality Camp Care Packages for Campers
Once your kids proceed to a summer camp for kids program, you may want to send them a care package. These do not have to be big parcels. Instead, choose a small and simple note, card, or small box of gifts to bring a smile on your child’s face.
Care packages make the kids feel loved and appreciated, especially if they are going for their first summer sleepaway camp. Further, a camp package helps kids beat anxiety and homesickness.
Avoid sending items that will make campers more anxious. Instead, choose something that reminds them to enjoy their visual arts activities at the camp. Some summer camps for kids establishments do not allow parents to send some items. You should read the camp policies to understand what you should or should not send to your child. Here are some tips on things your child will be happy to receive while on camp.
Avoid sentimental love cards as they will only make the kids homesick. Instead, choose hilarious cards that can bring laughter to your kids and their peers. You know your child better. Choose a card that matches their humor expectations.
Kids love using flashlights in their sleeping bags. However, they are required to turn off lights a few minutes after retiring to bed. In this case, a glow stick can come in handy, especially for kids who are afraid of the darkness. They can either use them to keep away mosquitoes or light up their lane to the bathroom. Glow sticks are available in various sizes and shapes to appeal to each age group. You can purchase these treasures from your local party accessory supply store.
Some camps prohibit snacks within the summer camp for kids premises. However, if the camp management allows, choose healthy snacks. You can even prepare them from home.
Small Toys and Games
Some summer camps for kids have a wide range of activities that keep kids engaged. Kids will hardly need toys or even games. However, these can come in handy during the evenings. There are many toy and game options available in the market today, and you can find them at discounted prices. Other gadgets you can include in your camp care package are party noisemakers, stickers, and magnets.
You do not have to send your kids lots of money. One dollar can go a long way to help your kid pay for that afternoon outing activity at the Bronx.
Photos of their Pets
If your kids have a pet, they will be happy to see it and show it off to their new friends.
If your kid forgot their high-quality camera, opt to send them a cheap disposable camera for memorable shots. If the summer camp for kids activities involves canoeing and swimming, a cheap underwater disposable camera will be ideal.
Magazine and a Love Note
The aim of sending a camp care package is to make your kid feel loved and appreciated. It should also encourage them to enjoy their summer camp experience. You do not want to make them feel homesick. Your love note should not say more than I love you. If your kid loves reading, then a magazine can go a long way in beating unforeseen low days.
A Welcome Home Card
Just as the summer camp for kids program nears the end, you can send your kids a welcome back home card. Include an invitation to a movie night at the family room or a chicken and pizza picnic at the backyard. Remember to indicate how proud you are of them and that you cannot wait to hear about their experience at the camp.
Exciting STEM Activities for an engaging Summer Camp for Kids Program
Students attending traditional camps often engage in STEM activities (science, technology, engineering, and math). While kids love these activities, their interest may fade away as they grow older.
As STEM careers form a big part of the present-day economy, you should encourage your kids to engage in STEM activities. Today, being techno-savvy, innovative, and knowing why and how things work is critical.
Finding the ideal STEM projects for your kids can be a difficult task. However, some summer camp programs offer specialized STEM activities and lessons depending on their needs. Here are some STEM-based projects for a summer camp that will help give kids critical life skills.
· Oil Spill
This activity falls under the science and engineering category. It is ideal for kids who are passionate about real issues. The oil spill activity involves mixing water and oil in a container and throwing in some feathers inside.
Give the kids different materials, such as paper towels, sponges, or small spoons. Now have the young campers try to remove the oil from the feathers and water without scooping out too much water.
Let the kids observe the effect of oil on the feathers and how challenging it is to separate it from water. Use this activity to demonstrate the impact of oil spills on the environment. Make this activity easy or difficult, based on the understanding level of the learner. Remember, oil can be messy, and you should exercise caution when dealing with young learners.
· Coding a LEGO Maze
This STEM activity falls under the technology category. It exposes kids to coding basics and also offers ideas on how to scale it down for younger campers. Summer camp for kids supervisors can even make coding a Lego Maze more complex for high school campers.
This activity comes with free to access printable materials like a wide range of instruction cards and mazes. Kids place themselves in the shoes of a user and arrange varying codes to direct their Lego partner through the maze.
Performing this activity enables kids to learn how to assess the aspect of something else and develop a robust knowledge of command codes, looping, and sequence that can help them understand coding basics.
· Cloud in a Jar
This STEM activity falls under science and highlights the water cycle, condensation, and states of matter. To perform the cloud in a jar activity, students will need hairspray and water to showcase the formation of clouds. This activity is simple, and children of different age groups can do it. Supervisors can combine this activity with an explanation of how water cycles operate in the environment. Camp supervisors can even organize an early morning outing on a cloudy or foggy day. They can then perform the activity to help kids understand it better.
Crystal Sun Catchers
Crystal suncatchers is a popular activity that falls under the science category. The ingredients you need are readily available at the grocery store and cheap. Campers will have lots of fun when performing this activity with their peers at the summer camp for kids program. This activity involves creating a suncatcher from crystals. You will need the following materials for this activity.
- Epsom salt
- Clear plastic lids
- Empty jar
- Glass measuring cup or bowl
- Pin, and
- Measure one cup of Epsom salt and put it in a jar
- Heat a cup of water and pour it inside your Epsom salt jar
- Stir the mixture for approximately two minutes until the salt dissolves
- Place some plastic lids on a flat tray and place them in a sunny place where there are minimal distractions
- Pour some of the remaining liquid from the jar in your plastic lids and avoid overfilling
- Leave them under the sun. Depending on the amount of fluid you added, the crystallization process may take a few hours.
- Your crystal suncatcher will be ready once the liquid has evaporated completely. Kids will be excited to see beautiful crystal designs from the sides of the lids.
· Sticky Note Number Match
The sticky note number match activity falls in the math category. You will need a marker, sticky notes, and a sheet of paper that you will tape to the wall. Camp supervisors can help students arrange this movement-based math activity to help children understand numerical values.
This activity does not involve memorizing a list of numbers. Instead, it allows young campers to search for sticky note numbers and fix them on the wall above a series of dots that match them (numbers). Set up for the sticky note number match activity is easy. Children can do it so long as they have all the materials.
Building a Hand Crank Winch
This STEM activity is ideal for kids who love getting crafty and finding out how things work. The winch is a way of helping campers to understand how to develop great things using simple machines. Young campers in a summer camp for kids will need help to construct the winch. Still, camp supervisors can opt for kid-friendly materials such as a spool of ribbon and cardboard paper towel rolls.
Homemade slime activities are ideal for educators and parents searching for fun and exciting kid-friendly activities. The magnetic slime activity becomes even more fun when kids perform it with their peers in a summer camp for kids program. It involves combining magnets and iron oxide, but getting slime consistency can be challenging. Kids can solve any issues by adding liquid starch or glue. The magnet slime activity is a great conversation starter, and kids will have numerous questions about how magnets operate. Camp supervisors should be prepared to answer all questions.
Build a Balance Scale
Build a balance scale is a STEM activity that falls under the science category. You will need a string, cups, and a plastic hanger. Supervisors can help kids create a hanging balance to help them experiment with weights. Encourage the kids to participate in the activity by asking various questions like “how many Legos does your toy weigh?”
Kids can use the scale to weigh a wide variety of materials regardless of their shape. A homemade balance scale is a tool that kids will enjoy creating both at the summer camp and at home.
A Summer Camp for Kids Program is a Perfect Learning Opportunity
Minecraft helps kids create, promotes critical thinking, and improves visual intelligence. However, it is not the only summer camp activity for kids.
Sending your campers on a summer camp for kids helps children participate in other fun activities. These include rock climbing and horseback riding. Will your child be attending a summer camp program this summer? If they are, ensure the facility has in place strict measures to protect them from contracting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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