Learning Together – Across America! What has Mr. Rogers taught us.

Summer Camp Best Practices

5 Top Tips for Picking a Summer Camp. Digital Dragon Breaks Down the Best Camp Practices and Why!?


Over the last several weeks, across the nation, a growing network of families, educators, and industry folks participated in Remake Learning Days Across America. From STEM / STEAM activities to showcases and free tours, over 1,400+ activities were held that were free and open to learners of all ages. This series of events ended on the 143rd day of the year also known as 143 day or “I (1) Love (4) You (3) Day” honoring the legacy of Pittsburgh’s Mr. Rogers.  

Remake Learning Days Across America is meant to give space to celebrate, wonder, explore and learn together. This year felt extra special as many of the events were back in person. As it nearly rounds out the academic year, it highlights the importance that learning can and should happen anywhere and everywhere! Just because the school year ends doesn’t mean we are turned off to learning for the summer season. In fact, just the opposite needs to happen! This is where the opportunities of summer camps fit in. This month, we’re giving you 5 tips to picking the right summer camp!

5 Top Tips for Picking Summer CAmps for Kids

When you’re perusing your options (and since you’re here, hoping you don’t have to go far) here are some things to consider:

  • Does your camp provide activities for the development of the whole child?
    • Are there social components baked into the experience?
    • What activities bridge and link screen time to physical play?
  • Is the content of the camp aligned to the interests of your little learner?
    • Current trends (including within our summer camps) show a spike in interest in game development
  • Boutique vs. Scaled
    • What’s the history of the camp?
      • Is this a nationally scaled model?
      • Is this a more community driven model?
    • Who typically works as educators?  
      • Look for consistent practitioners who are passionate about their topics
  • How does the summer camp transition back into the school year?
    • One and dones usually get pushed aside
    • Does your summer camp offer extended interactions throughout the school year and over other holidays?
  • Bring old friends and make new friends!
    • What makes summer camp better?  Tagging along w/ a friend.
    • What makes summer camp even better?  Making new friends!

TLDR; It’s that season again! Instead of dropping learning for the summer, stoke the flames for education through summer camps. When deciding on which to enjoy, think about the experience as a whole. Is this a churned out experience, or a custom, more community driven camp? What’s the history of the camp and who is behind it? Finally, while we know that learning can happen, we also know that fun goes hand in hand with learning! Make sure summer camp is enjoyed by all!

For More Info on Digital Dragon Camps!

About the Author:

John Balash was instrumental in Digital Dragon’s launch in 2013 as its first Curriculum Director and is now back in the fold as a consultant on all the latest and greatest in tech education.This is John’s latest contribution to a monthly blog series we’ve launched, Tech News from the Frontier. John is the Director of Educational Engagement at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. John has worked on educationally-focused initiatives with clients ranging from D.A.R.P.A. to Disney. Working from both sides of the desk, you can find John in classrooms and conferences around the world exploring new uses for technologies in learning environments.