Parents turn to virtual, outdoor camps to keep children engaged after school

Remote learning creates new complications for parents

Virtual school camps on the rise during pandemic

With remote learning still the dominant trend right now, what happens after the last Zoom of the day has turned into a problem for many parents.

A Metro Detroit woman is giving parents an option to keep their children off the couch and learn a new skill.

Parents are looking for creative ways to add fun back into their children’s day. One way is the new trend of socially distanced sewing camps and classes.

“One of my biggest things with what I’m doing is that it provides a setting in which kids can come socialize and continue to develop emotionally and mentally," Elena Victoria said. “Alongside their friends but in a super safe atmosphere and environment.”

Some of Victoria’s popular sewing camps are entirely virtual. Others are set up outside in campers' homes.

“We have full container bowls that are six feet long,” Victoria said. “One kid on each end. Everyone wears masks or outside or in a garage with the door open and fresh air coming through, so everyone’s comfortable and parents feel food about it, and their kids can still get a chance to socialize and see their friends throughout this challenging time.”

When schools closed in the spring because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the fashion designer came up with creative ways to still teach students sewing with a fashionable twist, and she’s still doing that heading into the fall.

“I know some schools are virtual,” Victoria said. “Some have the option of being virtual or half days. So whenever the parent decisions or whatever situation the child is in, they’re still looking for a little bit more just because school usually takes up the whole day, so we’re trying to add in some sessions either for the half day kids or the virtual kids to accomplish all their schoolwork, and then learn a new skill and be with their friends and develop emotionally, even though they’re doing online schooling.”

The outdoor camps run two hours a day. The virtual classes are a bit shorter.

“I’m sure a lot of us remember, but it’s a dying art, so I’m putting a fresh twist on it and it’s fashion forward,” Victoria said. “It’s creative and fun. It’s not pinning and dealing with those spin patterns and the frustrations that people think of sewing, and kids have time for it now, so they’re really amazed at what they can accomplish in just those two hours, and they’re still learning something in the arts and something that’s a lifelong skill.”

She said the difference in students is noticeable right away.

“I see their self confidence and self-esteem just skyrocket at the end of the camps because they’re so proud of what they’ve accomplished and they feel really good about themselves,” Victoria said. “Everyone claps when they come out in their outfit and they’re showing it off, and just feeling really confident and just very proud of themselves and all their hard work.”

Click here if you’re interested in one of the virtual sewing classes or camps.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.