Let’s go surfing—on the web! With three new STEAM enrichment camps in NYC in the works, we plugged in with Brendan Manley, co-founder and owner of iCAMP (icamp.com).
What sets iCAMP apart from other local camps? Whether you are looking for a specialized program or traditional camp experience, there really are many great options. At iCAMP we offer a unique experience that resonates with campers and parents alike because we approach things a little bit differently. Yes, children learn about technology, but we see ourselves as a creative program. Whether it’s coding, 3D printing, digital or studio art, etc., children are learning how to use tools that will empower them to express themselves creatively forever.
How has your business thrived, especially during the pandemic? It’s funny, iCAMP had just really started gaining some initial momentum when the pandemic changed everything. After the lockdown, families were relieved to have enriching, in-person programming available to them in a format that made them feel comfortable. That summer we were doing private or ‘pod’ camps for hundreds of families each week. We are proud that we were able to offer so many parents something fun and engaging for their children to do with their friends during such a confusing time. That being said, we are happy now to have most campers back on campus. There is something to be said for campers being part of the community of camp!
Why do you think kids need this camp now more than ever this summer? Kids, like all humans, are social creatures. They need community and they need to be around other kids. Moreover, kids have the unbelievable superpower of being Olympic-level learners. Opportunities for learning and community were somewhat stifled over the past few years. This summer feels like it is going to be much more like a ‘normal’ summer. I know we are preparing to help all of our campers make up for lost time!
What are some of your top tips for parents searching for the right camp for their child? Diversify your summer camp portfolio! Do a little bit of golf, tennis, surf, etc. Your child gets to benefit by meeting lots of new kids, trying (or further developing) many skills, and, if they really don’t like something, they’re not stuck there all summer. Also, be critical, read the marketing material carefully, talk to friends and ask local mom groups.
ICAMP Hamptons summer activities include an array of learning experiences, from coding and 3D printing to growing plants in the garden.
What are you most looking forward to this summer? My wife and I live with our three kids (and one on the way!) in the Hamptons year-round. So we always look forward to seeing many of our friends from the city. Then there’s all of the campers who have definitely grown up so much since last summer. That is always exciting to see.