NPR listeners were recently treated to a little talk about iD Tech Camps! Adriene Hill of NPR's Marketplace paid a visit to our UCLA summer tech camps, touching on the benefits of a camp for coding along with those of camps with canoes, campfires, and ghost stories.
Have a listen by clicking the player below, or read the transcript here: Is Summer Camp for Coding or Canoeing?
The commentary touches on a topic we have actually heard a lot of lately—what exactly is summer camp all about these days? Clearly, kids are faced with more summer options than ever before. Wizardry, magic, sleuthing, snorkeling. If you can dream it, there is probably a summer camp for it. A lot of these options have cropped up because kids want to have fun, but it also involves the fact that they – and their parents – want a portion of the summer spent learning more about the things kids love.
Childhood environments and circumstances around growing up haven't exactly been sitting stagnant, either. Kids are now faced with highly-competitive landscapes, futures filled with STEM job opportunities, and classrooms that haven’t yet incorporated programming and other tech subjects. Thus, the push to get started “now,” using summer to learn related skills at a younger age is a real need for anyone interested in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Thankfully, summer is long—longer than a week or two someone might spend at one particular camp. Thinking back to my own experiences, I was fortunate enough to attend a baseball camp here and a more traditional camp there. But I was even luckier to have a neighborhood full of friends, a park around the corner, and beaches, lakes, and the great outdoors all accessible starting with the turn of a door knob. That said, I also loved my video games, TV, movies, and just holing up and letting summer sink in.
The key – and negotiating chip – for me was balance. “Mom, I’ve been outside all week…I just want to play one game?” Such a plea worked about half the time. But on the flip side, you better believe that a day of Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball on the Super Nintendo meant a day of reading the next, and/or a day of biking after that. Balance.
Of course, it’s all a case-by-case basis. You must ultimately ask if a tech camp is right for your child. Yes or no, summer doesn’t disappoint in providing alternative options.