We recently shared a Survey designed for the parents of our young heroes and adventurers. Our hope is that we can better understand your concerns and offer solutions that will not just ease your mind but improve you and your camper’s experience this summer. Below are some of the most prominent answers we saw from the 34 parents who shared their thoughts along with our responses.
79% of our camp parents see physical activity as the most important part of an online summer camp, closely followed by personal interaction and then STEM learning.
Rest assured, our online summer camp does not mean an entire day of staring at a screen and clicking your way through a story. Our camps are based on stories that lead the campers through grand adventures… and adventures need heroes who can overcome any type of obstacle. We’re creating those obstacles to be both in our fantastic online world as well in the real world around us (even outside).
Actions won’t just be typed or stated, they’ll be performed by the camper: “Dodge! Attack! Parry! Jump! Reach! Run (in place)!” Before a hero can enter battle they’ll need to choose skills and equipment to defend themselves. They’ll hunt the house for just the right props. Before a hero can solve a puzzle they may need to find certain objects from nature. They may travel to the backyard and start poking around.
Heroes also rely upon the help of their fellow adventurers. Our stories are designed to promote teamwork and cooperative creativity. There are also time blocks dedicated to letting the campers interact, encouraging friendships that feel real, even if separated by a screen.
We have made STEM a major component of our online adventures, just the same as our in-person camps. Using printable cut-out materials and lists of basic items found at home, STEM activities are a key part of solving puzzles and saving the day in the online world they are navigating.
Many parents are worried that they will be incapable of focus on their jobs, working from home, when their child finds themselves bored in a quarantined summer season.
This is something we considered early on and have developed a system to help. We are sending out instructions for connecting to Zoom and Google Classroom platforms ahead of time. We also have a Tech Check day before camp begins to make sure that your child is versed in how to log in and navigate the adventure. Our objective is to keep your campers engaged so that they need as little of your assistance as possible.
If budget is an issue, many organizations are recruiting the help of online summer camp companies (like ours) to provide their work-from-home parents the child care support they need to keep up. Online camps are an excellent solution to combatting boredom at home. If this is something that concerns you as a work-from-home parent, you can ask your employer about considering hiring us to make your life easier to manage and your company better succeed this summer. You can share this link with them and let us take it from there: https://guardup.com/online/company-online-summer-camp/
As well, we are still accepting applications for scholarships for those families on limited income at this time.
Some parents fear that their child will experience social skill regression as an outcome of the quarantine. There is also a hope for an increase in mental health due to a sense of belonging.
Our online adventures heavily rely on communication and team efforts. Interaction is imperative for saving the day! We’re also extremely proud to be a company that for twenty years has been praised creating a sense of belonging for our students and campers. This is not something that will be lost moving online. Our programs are designed from corner to corner to create an environment where everyone can belong and feel like they really are a hero amongst fellow Guardians. That sense of belonging will increase mental health, confidence, and peer to peer skills. We are strongly committed to this and have it in mind every day.
Online safety is a big part of parents’ unease.
We’ve been online since the moment we shut the castle doors in mid-March. During that time, we’ve held weekly classes and events, birthday parties, and a full week of Spring Break. We feel confident in saying that we’ve had a lot of time and practice with our online classroom. A big part of our adventure thus far has been learning how to best maintain safety, both physical and mental, in everything that we do with the kids.
All of our staff and counselors are trained in our methods of hosting online adventures. There are many protocols in place to keep your camper safe and engaged. If you feel you have specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can address them.
We do hope to see your camper in our online camp this summer and we look forward to keeping them mentally, socially, and physically engaged in our educational adventures. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so now so that you can enroll your camper in the full or half weeks that best fit your schedule. Let the adventure begin!
If you haven’t yet done so, feel free to share your opinions with us using the Parent Survey, still open for responses. Thank you all for your continued support and feedback that is essential to improving our Guardian community.