Launch Your Virtual Camp In 2 Weeks or Less without Spending Time & Money on Tech

June 1, 2020

This year camps face a difficult challenge: how do you bring kids together while keeping them safe? 

For your organization, these are uncertain times. Planning is difficult. You’ve never had to re-think your camp during a global pandemic. You have staff and programming that your campers love. But no way to share it with them (more on that later).

On a personal level, the loss of summer camp is challenging for families and the camps who serve them. During this stressful time, campers need the community, the learning, and the fun of camp more than ever.

With the right approach, we think you can create an engaging experience, foster connections, and bring joy to your campers this summer.

The secret is to leverage the programming and staff you know and trust in a whole new way. Outschool is a trusted and easy-to-use platform that helps you do exactly that. 

For several years, Outschool has helped teachers and organizations inspire a love of learning in children through live video chat. With nearly 1 millions hours of classes under our belt, we’ve figured things out along the way. 

One big realization has been this: hosting camp online may be different, but it can be just as beneficial (and in some ways better) than in-person camp.

But first, what makes camp so great for campers and their families?

Camp nourishes the mind, body & spirit

Camp is a time to make new friends. After the school year ends, kids love to connect with new friends. Even if they’re comfortable in their friend group, camp is a chance for kids to leave their comfort zones and bond with others. This is an essential life skill.

Camp is a break from the typical routine. The new daily schedule is another great benefit of camp. Unlike the rigid school day that many kids experience for 10 months a year, camps offer more choice and flexibility. This freedom motivates kids to learn and grow.

Camp encourages independence. When your kids go away to camp (or experience camp from home), it’s a time when they can try new things. For children to grow and mature, it’s essential for them to have time without their parents right next to them to help, give advice, or intervene.

Camp is a time to develop new interests. Often, parents want children exposed to new activities, subjects, and experiences. However, families may not have the resources, knowledge, or awareness of things their kids want to learn and do. Camp provides these to kids in a structured way.

Camp is productive time off. When the school year ends, kids deserve a break. But you don’t want that break to turn into lounging around for two months, staring at screens and eating junk food. Camp allows kids to productively use free time while learning, growing, and having fun.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, can all of this happen online? 

Ask any of the thousands of families who’ve watched their children spark new interests, learn new skills, and make new friends on Outschool. They’ll tell you that the answer is yes.

Virtual camper science experiment

Photo: Kathleen Schwartz Photography

There are also some advantages to hosting camp online, and we’re not even talking about avoiding the cost of buying hundreds of masks and the headaches of sticking to local health protocols!

You can give campers the same benefits (and more) online

Kids make friends from all over the world - and so do you! When you host your camp online, the social groups are no longer bound by local geography. Campers can bond with kids from all over the country and globe by discussing topics they love and want to learn about.

You won’t just reach more kids; you can support them in learning more things! With virtual camps, you can offer a wide variety of options - from soccer drills to arts & crafts to writing.  By hiring more hourly counselors, you can increase the offerings. If you already love exactly what you’re doing, then you can keep doing it!

Incorporate technology...without buying all the computers. You can try out engaging campers using a variety of technology and programs. This might be expensive and time-consuming in an in-person setting.

Find new ways to engage all voices. Summer is a time for kids to blossom. But some kids have trouble branching out when they’re in new social groups. When you host camp online, you give more kids a chance to share their voices, gradually and when they feel ready to do it. Video, audio, and text communication helps more campers make more connections.

Photo of campers at home watching online

There are two paths for hosting your camp online

So, we know what you are thinking. This sounds like it could work. But how do I even get started with putting my camp online?

For online camps to work, you need:

  • Easy registration and payment
  • Safe and secure video chat
  • Safe and secure messaging
  • A tech team who knows what they are doing
  • Support in reaching more families

One option is to figure this out on your own. 

You can set up an online payment processor, find a video chat platform you like and can afford, integrate a messaging app onto your website, hire and train a tech team to support your campers and their families, and work with a marketing agency to make families aware of your online camp.

Or, you can get all those benefits (and more) with Outschool.

Outschool gives you the tools and services you need to launch your online camp fast. Plus, we have a built-in community of 500,000+ families who are excited to explore what your camp has to offer.

With Outschool’s marketplace for live online learning, summer camps are now offering classes as a way to engage campers, build community, and make connections this summer.  

In 2 weeks or less, you can launch your online camp through Outschool’s safe and secure platform. You’ll offer your community an opportunity to connect and engage, even if they can’t be together in person.  

Learn More and Apply Here

ACA was not involved in the creation of this content and does not imply an endorsement of products/services.