As the coronavirus has forced hundreds of thousands of U.S. parents to work from home, the issue of what to do with the kids while being productive has become a major challenge. With summer fast approaching, parents who would have sent their kids to camp in a pre-pandemic world are now faced with camps that are yet undecided or have opted not to open at all this year.
“We are proud to offer CampCloud, a revolutionary new virtual solution for parents, employers, and even other camps that will not be opening their physical facilities this summer,” say Anna and Austin Birch, CampCloud Founders. “The coronavirus pandemic is either closing kids’ summer camps or creating uncertainty about their future. Parents who would normally enroll their kids in our day, residential and expedition camp programs are frantically searching for new ways to keep them active, happy, socially engaged, and challenged throughout the summer.”
The team at the American Camp Association (ACA) accredited Adventure Links, with 23 years in summer camp and experiential education, has found a way to not only replace its usual summer adventure camp programs with an online alternative, the company also plans to offer its new and exciting virtual camping programs to employers for the children of their employees and to other camps as a customizable online option for their usual camp families.
CampCloud will be offering a wide variety of thoroughly engaging, age-appropriate programs for kids ages 6-17, consisting of hands-on and fun activities all day that kids can do themselves and/or with minor adult assistance at home or right in their neighborhoods, while social distancing if necessary. The instructors are thoroughly trained and reviewed with the same rigor of background and reference checks as an ACA accredited camp. More importantly, they are individuals who possess a love for kids and for teaching, and carry the creative and adventurous spirit that has always infused Adventure Links’ programs.
Camps are available in Monday-Friday segments every day for a week, and camp connection is facilitated over Zoom. Each day, campers will engage in interactive experiences that put “some worthwhile wonder into a virtual life.” Apart from a few predesignated supplies, all the camper needs are a good internet connection, a smart device, and a readiness to engage.
Currently planned CampCloud offerings include:
- Camp Adventure (ages 6-10), covering everything from ecology to shelter building to outdoor skills.
- STEAM (ages 8 -14), offering activities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math and honing critical thinking skills.
- Pet Camp (ages 8 -14), with kids and their pets together learning pet behavior training, nutrition, vet-care tips, and how to make the bond even stronger.
- Suburban Survival (ages 11-17), focused on the pillars of survival: navigation, tracking, trap making, fire safety and so much more.
- Performing Arts (ages 8 -14), a theatrical camp excursion that concludes with a full-blown production edited and sent out to parents.
- Humanity Island (ages 8 -14), a non-stop adventure with campers imaginatively stranded on a desert island where they must function as a society to succeed.
CampCloud online camp programs are offered not only to parents directly, but also to corporate subscribers that may want to provide CampCloud as an employee benefit. Employees working from home are often stressed as they attempt to juggle keeping their kids entertained and engaged and getting their work done. Employers know that reducing employee stress will result in greater productivity, so CampCloud is offering companies the option to purchase a block of seats for their employees, allowing employees to select the right camp for their kids at no cost or a reduced cost to the employee.
Further, because other traditional summer camps are wondering what they can do if their decision is to close, CampCloud is offering to customize and private-label CampCloud programs for these camps, allowing them to stay in business while the pandemic lasts and retain their counselors and staff – without them having to design their own platforms and programs from scratch.
“In many ways, our kids have become victims of this pandemic, and we’re hoping that this three-pronged approach will allow us to reach as many kids as possible while taking some of the burden of keeping their kids engaged all summer off parents,” adds Birch. “Kids need to keep intellectually, physically and socially engaged, even while remaining at home. TV and video games are not the answer. CampCloud will have something to delight every kid and his or her parents.”
Founded in 1997, Adventure Links is accredited by the American Camp Association, the nationally recognized certifying body for summer camps. In addition to its adventure summer camp offered in Virginia when live camping was and will be available, Adventure Links provides children ages 6-10, 11-14 and 15-17 with a wide variety of engaging, educational and creative “camping” experiences online that will keep them fully engaged and delighted all day long.