As summer camps adapt to changes due to the pandemic, a new and exciting alternative is cropping up instead: virtual summer camps. These camps, which range in duration from one-day sessions to two-month virtual stays, capture much of the magic of traditional summer camps. 

If you’re looking for some great activities for the kids, consider enrolling them in virtual camps this summer where they can experience all the fun from the comfort and convenience of home. And the kids can “attend” camp in their PJs if they want! All they need is a computer with audio and video connectivity. 

In general, there are two types of virtual summer camps. Some camps replicate the traditional camp experience, with virtual cabins, cabin activities and themed days. Other camps focus more on developing certain skills or interests. However, all of them have one thing in common: they’re either completely free or much less expensive than traditional summer camps. If you want to give your kids the fullest possible experience, enroll them in one of each kind of camp.

Two of the largest virtual camps that resemble traditional camps are Camp Supernow and Happy Camper Live: 

Camp Supernow (

Designed for kids ages 6-11, campers can either choose to join a private cabin with their regular friends from home or join a mixed cabin with kids from around the country. Each cabin is led by a counselor who guides all the activities which include virtual dance parties, field trips, icebreaker games, invention challenges, science experiments and theater performances. Like in most traditional summer camps, each day has a specific theme such as “Design and Invention Day,” “Outer Space” or “Pirates.” 

Happy Camper Live (

This is a camp for kids of all ages where campers can choose from hundreds of daily activities like arts and crafts, cooking, music, performing arts and sports. The camp has a virtual campfire with a live talent show and a camp store where kids can buy camp equipment, gear and clothing to make them feel a part of the larger camp community. 

There are hundreds of specialized summer camps across the country. Two of the very best, which also happen to be completely free, are Code with Google and Maker Camp.

Code with Google (

Here, kids learn different computer science skills, including how to build online games and how to code using various programming languages. 

Maker Camp (

Kids learn STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills though fun hands-on projects. They can choose to learn how to cook, do magic tricks, create robots, develop seed balls, and many other activities.

Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.

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