Does Your Child Have the Camp Blues? Try Coding!

When another camp just doesn’t light them up…

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Remember how excited you were for your child’s first day of camp? Summer camp is often a favourite experience growing up; the camp fires, the swimming, the sing-a-longs – it’s what makes summers so memorable. What happens when you send your own kids to camp, expecting the same great experience? You can’t wait for the wee ones to get home and tell you all their stories from their time away. But, when you pick them up, you notice something off. They aren’t as chipper as they were when they left and they don’t seem as interested in sharing their sing-a-longs or stories about camp friends. You’re surprised! Your kids don’t yet know what to ask for, so you start looking more closely at their interests to determine what they want.

It’s a story we hear all the time.

You don’t want your children to miss out on the experience of summer camp, but it seems that the camp you sent them to just doesn’t fit them. You struggle with whether you should even send them anywhere this summer – then, you discovered Hatch.

Hatch is a summer camp devoted to teaching kids coding. If you’re not familiar, coding is what makes it possible to create computer software, apps and websites. Basically, everything we do on our computers, phones or tablets is made with code. Pretty neat stuff, and definitely something you could see your technologically-driven kids embracing.

You were slightly concerned about the social aspect – how can you make life-long summer camp friends while sitting at a computer all day? Well, coding is social-emotional. The kids can work on their own, but it is also a collaborative effort; they’re constantly working with others to discuss challenges and ideas, while at the same time developing the self-motivation to complete a project on their own.

And speaking of completing a project – once the kids showed you what they’d been working on this summer, this became a huge source of pride in your house. Creating something, from a blank screen into a tool or game, was an amazing confidence boosting exercise. The kids were just in awe of being able to show off something that started in their imaginations and came alive on the screen.

Needless to say, your kiddos will be going back to Hatch next summer, and are keeping up their skills with weekly classes during the school year. You feel so lucky to have found a camp they love and that also teaches them valuable skills in today’s ever-expanding world of technology. And that project you mentioned? They’re not done. They can keep working on it throughout the year to feed the spark that Hatch planted.

Hatch is a different kind of summer camp with something for everyone. The beauty of the coding camp is that everyone can fit in and find something they love. So, while your kids still get a good dose of the outdoors, they will be able to learn some valuable skills and make great friends along the way.

 

No matter what activities your child is interested in, there are excellent programs available to them. At Hatch, your children will learn coding and gain confidence in learning to problem solve. Learn more about camps, weekly classes and after-school programs, and sign-up today!

 

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Get with the Programming: Camps and After-School Programs That Make a Difference

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We are fortunate to have many amazing options for what our kids can do after school. While letting kids have downtime is an important after school activity, the large variety of after-school programming provides options that are just as unique as our kids, and add a real depth to children’s social, emotional, physical and academic development.

In Toronto, where Hatch Canada made its start, we see many amazing programs offered, both in schools, on evenings and weekends and throughout the summers. Near us, we see programs that are so varied and exciting it makes us want to be a kid again!  

Tandem Studios offers dance classes in many styles, all of which will keep your children active and encourage them to work in a team with fellow dancers. The studio’s Tandem Troupe program gives your children the opportunity to enrol in competitions, but if that isn’t their speed there are many other programs that equally promote a healthy, creative, and happy way to work out.

Learning another language opens the door to a lot of opportunities later in life, and is a skill that goes nicely with learning a new coding language at Hatch. At Panda Mandarin, children can learn Mandarin through assorted fun and engaging activities. Pursuing linguistic studies encourages a strong communication background, and enhances the ability of a child’s memory.

Places that promote additional after-school education such as Spirit of Math can make mathematics – a common homework struggle – as something to look forward to rather than shrink from. Spirit of math has lots of options for camps and classes, and also publishes workbooks, in which students have the opportunity to practice in their own time. No matter the format of this learning, these studies will help your children gain confidence in a commonly intimidating subject.

And, of course, you can’t forget Hatch. We love what we do and we all wish we’d had a place like Hatch when we were kids. In a world that is digitally evolving at an incredible pace, we have a hands-on approach teaching children computer programming and coding. Students in the program learn not only to debug and fix any incorrect coding, but are encouraged to take on projects of their own. Hatch offers an 8-12 week class about coding, where students conclude with a portfolio that demonstrates their ability to create their own applications, and can even program their own games!

 

No matter what activities your child is interested in, there are excellent programs available to them. At Hatch, your children will learn coding and gain confidence in learning to problem solve. Learn more about camps, weekly classes and after-school programs, and sign-up today!

“I’m a Proud Parent!”: Why Leslie’s Daughter Avalyn Loves Hatch

We’ve talked to a handful of Hatch parents in order to learn more about their experiences. First up is Leslie, whose daughter Avalyn is nine years old and loves computers.

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How did Avalyn get involved with Hatch?

Avalyn started Hatch as an after school program. I didn’t know what to expect, and was almost surprised when she showed interest in coding to begin with – she is usually involved with a sports camp, so it’s a bit of a departure from what she’s normally interested in. I thought maybe she’d try it out and think it wasn’t for her, but… she surprised me again by coming home and telling me that she loved it!

What qualities did you see in Avalyn that you thought would be a good fit for a coding camp?

Avalyn loves computers and playing games on computer, and because of her natural curiosity, I’ve been trying to encourage her to get behind the scenes. She is a diligent with details, and has no trouble getting focused on the task at hand.

What are some of Avalyn’s favourite parts of Hatch?

Going off-site with Hatch has been a real highlight for Avalyn, and it’s good to know that she is not only sitting in a chair, but getting out and about. She has gone several places with Hatch: the Douglas Snow Aquatic centre, a park for the afternoon, the Ryerson DMZ to end the week on a special note, and even Google Canada for a special event.  It’s all fun and new and has involved Avalyn being independent.

Have you seen any changes in Avalyn since she started coding?

This program has enhanced her discipline and provided a place where she enjoys being focused and completing a task start to finish, while using her creativity.

Have you seen anything that Avalyn has built?

Yes, in the report status it showed a screenshot of her animated cupcake my understanding is that it moves according to certain keystrokes.

Is it strange to not understand what she’s working on?

I don’t know anything about computer programming myself, but Hatch has made me more curious. It has prompted me to acknowledge the gap between parent and child – what Avalyn knows at 9 is mumbo-jumbo to me! I realize that to guide our children, we have to have some knowledge as well. Now, it’s something I want to work on!

What impressions have you gotten when you’ve gone to Hatch?

I found the staff easy-going and willing to help out. It’s a comfortable atmosphere, and not strict. I would describe it as an encouraging environment.

Do you think learning to code at an early age will affect Avalyn’s professional choices when she’s older?

I would be pleased as punch if Avalyn works in tech one day. I love it – there is a sense of empowerment that she can do this, learn it. Avalyn’s job may not have been invented yet and I want to support her. I’m a proud parent.

It’s important women are represented in STEM activities, but they must feel they belong.  These early experiences will help my daughter feel that this is her reality, her world, and she belongs there if she wants.

It’s great that she’s taken this path. I’m so glad she’ll have the feeling of being comfortable in the tech world.

What surprised you most about the Hatch experience?

That it’s not just the coding itself, it’s the exposure to the coding/tech world. Like when Avalyn went to the Ryerson DMZ and seeing what a cool environment it was. Seeing women present their technology. These experiences form a wider worldview, opening a child’s eyes. It makes them feel like they belong in a world like this, a world with possibilities.

 

As Leslie discusses, Hatch offers more than just teaching code. At Hatch, your children will see a new world opened to them, and learn about different opportunities for their future. Learn more about camps, weekly classes and after-school programs, and sign-up today!