Like all of you, we’ve been working to find our logical path through the COVID19 pandemic, discovering what systems work for us and what pre-existing ideas we can set aside during this time. There are many things we miss, but we’re constantly finding silver linings.
- Like: seeing students in classes who geography had prevented us from teaching.
- Like: being able to observe other yoga teachers who we usually don’t interact with.
- Like: rewatching our classes to self-evaluate our teaching and really see how our students are responding to the lesson.
- Like: virtual summer camp.
When it first became apparent that summer camp might not be able to look the way we had come to expect, we started exploring online options right away.
While we’ve been sitting with the idea of virtual camp for awhile now, but we know it’s new to most of you. It might be hard to get your head around, especially while you’re still trying to sort out online schooling. As you start to make the decision about whether to shift your existing camp enrollment to our virtual option (or sign up for camp online right out of the gate), here’s what we want you to know.
We’re not taking our camps online because we feel its our only option. We’re going virtual because we genuinely believe we’ll be good at it.
Our teachers have been offering yoga classes online since schools closed, and will continue to do so for the duration of social distancing. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and we are confident that we can provide quality yoga instruction online. We’ve talked about how classes work on Zoom, so you’re welcome to read about what that’s like if you’re not familiar.
The other most popular component of our camps is art, and Jessica has been teaching that online since late March. This is another area where we’ve tested the waters and learned what works and what doesn’t. We’re not only able to offer quality mindful art instruction, we can anticipate which campers it will work best for and what information parents will need–even if they don’t know what questions to ask.
Both Jen and Jessica, the typical camp-week leads, homeschool their children. What that means is that we have a broader-than-average view of distance learning programs, and we’ve experienced first hand what makes them engaging. We’ve also seen what makes kids wander away.
All that to say: We’re really proud of our virtual camp option and we think you and your kids are going to like it.
Is virtual camp the same as in-person camp? Nope. Of course its not. Your kids are still going to be in your house. Yes, some of their camp projects might require your help. Yes, they will still interrupt your conference call to ask for snacks. But virtual camp will give them a physical outlet for their wiggles and stress. It will give them a creative outlet for their imagination. And it will give them a sense of being socially connected.
They’ll be virtually cared for by adults who are not their parents each day, and have time to socially interact with kids their own age. Virtual camp will also give them structured activities to complete offline that neither you or they need to dream up. And, it will encourage and inspire them to engage in independent, creative play outside of camp hours.
Despite being an online program, our mission is to provide our full day campers with enough structured activities that there is no passive screen time during the camp day. Our mission for camp has always been to create an environment where kids can build and practice their mindfulness skills through guided experiences and spacious, open play. Simply put: if we didn’t believe we could fill that mission online, we wouldn’t be offering virtual camps.