If you’re looking for expert advice on how best to format and execute a virtual camp or remote camp program this summer, you’re in the right place!
Below are 10 tips from Clickto.Camp’s Director on what worked for them when designing and implementing their virtual summer camp.
Keep your virtual camp programming simple!
Now is not the time to try and build space rockets or complicated scout pioneer structures online with campers.
Simple ideas and simple activities make online camp possible and fun for kids!
Think of camp experiences instead of projects
Remind yourself and your staff that building an origami dinosaur model is not really your camp goal.
Your camp goals are to:
- Allow campers to interact with each other
- Engage with you
- Create and express themselves
- And more!
Virtual camp is all about allowing you to achieve all of those and more!
Practice makes perfect!
Do you have an idea for a new exciting online activity? The virtual world holds some unexpected challengesֵ and opportunities for instructors.
The best way to develop successful instructing methods is to try them on your co-workers (or your co-workers’ kids). This is how you’ll get feedback on what is missing on their side for the activity to run smoothly.
Encourage your staff to connect with each others and work together so they can develop creative and engaging ideas that work!
Small groups are the key to engagement
Our recommendation is six campers per group (with one counselor).
From our experience, six is the sweet spot between effectively facilitating as many campers as possible and keeping things personal and engaging.
Keep things in balance
Maintain a good balance between small group activities and a large Unit/Bunk/all camp activities. Running large performances where two-hundred campers see you and a few more staff members doing some silly stuff is surely fun for a short time. But remember that there are always funnier videos to watch on youtube, which is one click away, so keep those activities interesting and SHORT.
Engage with larger camp gatherings
If you do decide to run some activities for large groups of campers, keep things engaging by using polls! Polls are an awesome tool, our recommendation is that you should not choose any conference platform that doesn’t come with this feature!
Q&A chats and shared whiteboards can also be useful and engaging for a large audience
Seize the educational opportunities
You might be surprised by the educational benefits of online platform activities. Here are some of them:
- There are MUCH less distractions online and campers tend to be more focused and listen much more carefully to the instructor guidance.
- Campers quickly understand that they cannot be heard if they speak while someone else is speaking (and the other way around), so they quickly learn to listen and to wait for their turn to speak.
- Campers are quickly developing their self expression skills! How? They are challenged to verbally explain their needs and issues to the counselor as accurate as they can! It usually starts from: ‘This is not matching!’ and develops to: ‘the top right corner of the paper is not fitting exactly the left lower corner, what should I do?’
Now is the time to be a part of a camp community!
While facing many challenges and unanswered questions, Covid19 has forced us all to reinvent ourselves and to think of creative and exciting new ideas.
This is not a good time to be on your own! We all need to share our knowledge and get ideas from each other, because every small success your camp has might ignite a spark which will allow other camps to succeed!
Choose the right virtual camp conferencing platform!
Not all conference platforms were born equal. Some might fit quite well to an online camp while some are too complicated, and some are even a waste of time and money.
The conference platform you choose should be intuitive for kids, without the need for a complicated setup, easy to use for the counselor and also offer educational and engaging tools which will give you the option to run many types of activities.
We recommend Unicko, which beyond live-stream options, offers animated presentations, interactive whiteboards, quizzes and games, and a text editor. This makes drawing easy, and engaging for campers.
Choose the best (and only) Virtual-Camp management system
The clickto.camp platform, integrated with Unicko, is the first (and only) system that offers an end-to-end solution for running a Virtual Camp online! Why is it so good? Because it’s built by camp people, for camp people!