If away camps are canceled this summer, virtual camps may be a big rescue for parents, and these are free!  The kids can learn Spanish, watch animals, and crack a case as a CSI.

Every summer, around 20 million kids head to camp across the U.S, and a lot of those camps may not be happening this year.  This is as sad for parents as it is for the kids.

Tell me if this is bad parenting.  My three girls are enrolled in a church camp that they love, love, love, and it involves fishing, archery, music, dancing, and a dozen new friendships every year.  Well, it's been canceled and I haven't told them yet.  They will be so upset!  I'm waiting for the right moment and the perfect time hasn't arrived yet, so I feel like procrastinating is justified for at least two more days.  I'll tell them before May 1 at the lastest.  Oh, this stinks.

But I found some pretty cool virtual camps, and these might make things a little better.  Varsity Tutors is putting on free camps online, and the sign-up period is open now. There are programs for kids ages 5 to 18 and they will start at the end of the school year.

Just browsing around their website, I found these virtual camps for K - 12:

-- Elementary theater

-- Sign language

-- Spanish

-- Improv

-- Strategic board games

-- CSI: Crack the Case

-- Chess

-- Recycled Art

-- Cooking healthy easy snacks

-- Powerful, persuasive podcasts

-- Science Lab

-- Brain games

There are a ton!  If you sign up for a camp, it's usually five sessions per week and each one lasts an hour.  If you plan it right, you might be able to fill up the whole day with several different sessions in a row.

It's free, and Varsity Tutors said they're adding new camps all the time.  Maybe the kids can make some new friends this summer after all.

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