Virtual Summer Camp

Virtual Summer Camp

The term "summer camp" once referred exclusively to cabins, hiking, boating and such. Now, of course, many different types of camps exist, from astronaut camp to music camp. And as of the last few years, children can attend educational camps without even leaving home, thanks to the Internet. A few examples of such virtual camps are described below.

In 2012, Maker Camp debuted. Founded by MAKE Magazine, Maker Camp lasts 30 days and takes place entirely on the Google Plus social media site. When campers wake up in the morning, they go on their Google Plus pages to find the instructions their camp counselors have provided for the day: directions on how to make arts and crafts, science projects and more. (Some of these counselors are professional educators.) Then it's time for lunch. After lunch, kids can participate in Internet chats with their counselors and with other campers all over the world. Rest assured that MAKE online camps provide the highest levels of Internet security available.    

For its part, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has established Camp Little Victors. Staff members from the hospital, including some of the doctors, send emails every week to campers to provide ideas for healthy foods and instructions for educational games. These directions come in both text and video form. You can register for this camp on the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Facebook page.  

The National Center for Family Literacy – you can visit their website at – with funding from Toyota and Verizon, has established two different, and free, virtual summer camps: What-A-Wonder and Wonderopolis. These camps' educational activities revolve around weekly themes, and have been designed by teachers and other educational experts to mitigate the "learning loss" that so often afflicts students during the long summer months. There are also "campfire chats" each week. They take place on Twitter, and sometimes these chats include virtual visits from authors and other celebrities!   

Online summer camps have started to become international institutions as well. For example, iEARN Pakistan, a nonprofit educational foundation headquartered in Karachi – their website is – offers an "online summer adventure," a multimedia approach to entertaining and engaging children during summer breaks. These adventures involve three ninety-minute sessions each week, and they include virtual trips to various global locales, digital imaging assignments and other projects to be completed with fellow campers via Facebook and Skype, lessons in filmmaking and more.

Online learning market place

Nov 30, 1999