“The last thing I want is for my children to spend more time connected in front of a screen.” We understand you and we listen to you. We know what you are telling us, of course! In the end, you are the parents of the children and teenagers you are going to “send” us to summer camp. We know that it is a lot of work to get them to connect and that the effort of convincing them often comes at a cost. A cost to negotiate what you did not want to negotiate. Anyway, we understand you.
When you think of “summer camps” you imagine a lake, cabins, a campfire where everyone sings around…right? There are many like that in the USA, in Mexico and even in Europe, although the camps in Europe usually have more water sports happening on the lakes. And I think this is also how it is portrayed in the movies.
In Canada and even in the UK, things are very different. In Canada, there are some camps like this, but the truth is that 95% of the summer camps are English programs with organized activities. This used to be a boom back in the 90’s and the formula stuck so well, that most of the English schools in Canada offer these programs in the summer. There are many options but they are all very much the same. And this is where The Urban Camp comes in, where we differ. We didn’t exist in “times before.” In fact, just last summer would have been our first “camp” here in Vancouver.
Our summer camp is focused on technology, entrepreneurship, wellness and fun activities. The camp we have organized for when the borders open will be something very unique and an experience that many will want to repeat. But let’s accept our reality. We cannot get out of this pandemic yet. Canada is currently riding the third wave and the province of Ontario has been in total lockdown for over a month already. The cases in Mexico and LATAM are getting worse by the day and the Government of Canada will not open any borders until it seems that all countries have stabilized. Moreover, not even our neighbours in the USA can enter until their country has gotten control over the cases.
The Urban Camp is on a mission to educate and prepare the new generations for the reality we’re living in and for what is coming. Our summer camp will once again be online because education should not be on “pause.” On the contrary, it has to move forward. We have to ride the wave; besides this is our reality right now. Please accept it and don’t be afraid of the “time glued to the computer.” It may be better to be afraid of the violent video games they often play when behind the screen, but educational summer camps are not something to fear.
Here are 10 reasons why you should not be afraid of a virtual summer camp:
- Technology has advanced along with the pandemic and now there are other platforms that are more fun and interactive than Zoom. Your kids will learn to use the platforms that companies like Microsoft, EA (Electronic Arts), The Urban Camp and many other companies are using.
- Practicing English in an immersive way is the only way we get to speak the language. Listening to real day-to-day accents and using the language “by doing”, that is, while doing things, is what helps us to practice the language. Your children in our virtual summer camp will speak the language to communicate with their teachers and mentors, as well as to communicate with their classmates. Your kids will have to explain their projects, present them and even solve problems. They will also hear English with different accents that are spoken in Canada. So educating their ear at this age will make them more resilient at work, with the people they deal with and hire, at university and even with people in stores, airports and more!
- Friendships, new contacts, new partners and even couples have met online over the past year. One good example of this is that part of our team has met and connected virtually and event our partnerships have been negotiated online! Large companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft in Vancouver have hired their staff virtually. At The Urban Camp we connect kids and youth and empower them to create friendships and potential partnerships for the future.
- At The Urban Camp we believe in the power of a healthy body and mind. That’s why we start every day with The Urban Camp Morning Method, where our Urban Campers understand the importance of silence, meditation, writing positive sentences, the power of laughing, exercising and knowing how to prepare healthy snacks. They will also get to know some of the city of Vancouver by biking, jogging or walking. If you’re wondering how, virtually… In a very creative way!
- The Urban Camp is futuristic and our campers are learning the difference between Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.
- We are not going to turn your children into “robots” or great entrepreneurs. We believe that it is important that our Urban Campers live their age, so we just plant the seed, teach them the tools and guide them to learn the basics of entrepreneurship and to bring out the potential that each one has to create great ideas. At the same time we inspire them and we motivate them to be better humans and people.
- The team here at The Urban Camp becomes mentors, guides and friends; before, during and even after our camps. Your children will have a support network for whatever they may need and will receive monthly newsletters with useful information to keep them practicing and learning.
- Six months after the end of the virtual summer camp, we will get together again to hear from them, to know how they are doing in life and to know their plans for the future. We will always keep them in mind so that they can continue to participate in workshops and talks that The Urban Camp organizes throughout the year.
- We believe in the art of helping and collaborating. And even more so in times of the pandemic. For every 10 students we donate one camp to a family that is not having a good time right now. If you enroll 2 children, we will donate a camp to another child that you know or that we have on the waitlist to receive a donation. And if you sign up “all 3 friends”, then everyone pays less.
- We believe that it is important to instill “the art of giving back.” So $10 of the course fee always goes to a cause that the group chooses to donate to. Their names will be on the card that will this cause receives and on another card, which will go into our “time machine.”
In the end, we understand that everything about your child’s education is a choice you’ll have to make. We want to help you inspire them, motivate them and invite them to ride the wave before technology overtakes them. They are experiencing a reality right now that we are experiencing right along with them. But they will experience things that we did not have to live with and for which they may not be given a choice. The now and the future is already part of their lives. And it may catch us unawares.