Summer camps entertain, educate and give kids a competitive edge

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Back to earth in September

IN A classroom at Imperial College London, students sit hunched over laptops, typing lines of code. Just nine years old, they are attending Firetech, a British technology summer camp for children. Courses include “Junior Augmented Reality” and “Creating for YouTube”. Such programmes are proliferating in many countries. They pander to two common demands from well-off parents: to entertain children over the long summer holidays and to give them a leg-up over their peers.

At most American summer camps children still commune with nature and sing around a campfire. But some camps cater to more niche interests, such as neuroscience, outer space or even atheism. Tom Rosenberg, chief executive of the American Camp Association, says a growing number focus on skills in demand at modern workplaces. The proportion offering science, technology, engineering or maths programmes, for instance, rose from less than a quarter in 2014 to almost a third in 2017…

The Economist: International