5 Qualities of Coder Kids Summer Camps

coder-kids-texas-summer-camp.jpg

Parents have lots of questions about our summer camps. We prepared this post to display some of the testimonials / survey results we've received from our parents. It also explains the aspects that make a Coder Kids summer camp unique vs our competitors. Read on to find out what makes us, as one parent put it, "Definitely the favorite camp this summer."

Academic

"[My son] had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks for providing such a great experience for him this summer. We hope you offer more camps during the school year and next summer."

Our focus is on learning coding. We want your child to walk away from camp having actually learned something that they can apply at home. Those skills may manifest themselves through improved school performance or development of a new hobby. Throughout our camps, we push students to challenge themselves and not give up. We explain projects clearly and help kids along the way. When students go home, they have a portfolio of projects along with actual knowledge and skills that they can use during the school year or at the next year's camps. 

Camps are a creative challenge. Many people ask what the typical child in our camps looks like, it can be hard to answer. Most kids who take our camps have an interest in video games or a creative drive. Students who will be most successful in our classes are patient and can work through challenges. As with the real world, we aren't going to force anyone to sit and code, but we think they will find the end result very satisfying if they work through the challenge.

We let kids be kids. In coding, as in any creative activity, we believe in letting the kids express themselves as they see fit. That means that some kids are going to finish camp with a very focused and deeply refined masterpiece. Other kids are going to end camp with a bit of a mess. We will try to guide them and steer them as best as we can, but we're not going to send your kid home with a perfect piece of art that we did for them. 

Our camps aren't the most... active. This isn't a sports camp and it isn't something that will necessarily get tons of energy out. We understand that! Some locations have playgrounds, but others don't. That said, our camps are probably best for kids who would be on devices or gaming in the summer if they didn't come join us!

Topic Variety

"My son loved this camp. He would do this all summer if he could."

We've got topics for all grades and interest levels. We offer a wide range of classes for kids to enjoy throughout the summer. Admittedly, it is challenging to offer classes for all interests and age levels in all locations. Many of our most enthusiastic kids last summer were very young, and I don't recommend keeping them in coding all summer. Better to explore a variety of topics. But by third or fourth grade, a student can choose to join us and, if they are interested and focused, study with us all summer and complete a wide variety of projects.  

Listed below are the camps that we intend to offer in Summer 2018. We hope to offer these classes in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Check back with us for future summer listings! I'm sure the list will only grow over time.   

  • Young Coders (games, code.org, apps, robots, early coding challenges)
  • Make Games in Scratch
  • Make Games in Python
  • Gamer's Club (Minecraft / Roblox)
  • Minecraft Modding in Java
  • Arduino (C) and Raspberry Pi (Python)
  • Swift Playgrounds / building iOS apps
  • Roblox Studio dev in Lua
  • Intro to game design in Unity

Affordability

"Grateful for the prices for working families. Please maintain the same prices and scholarship opportunities as it presents good faith and business practices."

Compared to other coding camps, our prices are very affordable. Our prices are affordable in part because we aren't a huge organization and in part because we care about making coding a part of everyone's life, no matter the income level. Some camps, particularly those held at local universities, charge parents from $700-1300+ for a week of camp. No offense to those who send their kids to those camps, but let me say that we 1) are locally owned and operated, 2) teach many of the same topics, 3) hire from the same instructor pool, and 4) try our best to be close to your home. So before you spend $1100 bucks on a single week of camp, consider the little guy!

Coder Kids Texas is also unique because we offer scholarships. Our scholarship program operates on the idea that everyone should be able to participate. I for one would not have been able to regularly participate in a Coder Kids camp because my parents couldn't have afforded it. So it is important for us to offer these scholarships, based on need and availability. Not every scholarship applicant will receive a scholarship and not every class will have space for scholarship students. But last summer we had about 20 scholarship students and we hope to have many more in years to come.  

Individualized

"I think the staff did an excellent job working with the kids. The ratio of teachers to students was great!"

Most coding classes offer a guaranteed ratio of teachers to students. At Coder Kids summer camps, our typical class is 1 teacher to 8 students, or 2 teachers to 12 students. What makes us special in my opinion is our small class sizes. We don't have space in our average facilities for 50 students, so the relationship is much more individualized than a typical summer camp. 

At camps for younger students, we even offer a ratio of 1 teacher to 4 or 6 students. A major part of our training is about meeting individual children's needs. Coding camp is unique in that we fully expect everyone to work on different projects or the same project at a different pace. Our low teacher-student ratio allows us to have that flexibility.

Awesome Teachers

"Loved the instructors. They took the time to explain what he was working on each day and how I can support it at home."
"My son loved his coach, Bevan. He had a good time and said it was one of his favorite camps."
"Emerson and Sunee were very helpful and understanding and patient with kids and made learning basic concepts fun. Hope to see them again at future camps!"

Our teachers are amazing. Looking forward to Summer 2018, I couldn't be more optimistic about our camp instructors. Last summer's instructors did excellent work. I believe that our relatively small scale allows us to find the right people for the right positions. The reality is that all camps try to hire the same students, and the only things that will set us apart are our hiring guidelines, pay, and training. So we will continue to put a major emphasis on hiring and retaining great talent as we grow.

 

With all these factors in mind, please consider a Coder Kids summer camp if you are in Texas, or reach out to us if you are elsewhere. We promise to keep our prices affordable, offer camps that are near to your home, and teach topics that will be interesting to most kids. The quality of our curriculum is strong and based on feedback from parents, our courses are overall a better experience than our major competitors.