Internet | May 23, 2019 1:28 pm

Would You Spend $1000 a Week to Send Your Kid to YouTube Camp?

These parents would, and it's for reasons both better and worse than you think

iD Tech
While camps like iD Tech offer robotics and coding courses, they also have classes in YouTube (iD Tech)

Usually, if you’re worried that your kid is spending too much time with their phone over the summer, you’d pack ’em off to summer camp.

But you probably aren’t worrying about too much screen time if they’re going to YouTube camp.

YouTube summer camp is a thing, it’s here and some parents will spend $1000 a week to help their offspring live their online fame dreams, according to a report by Julie Jargon at the Wall Street Journal. At these camps, children as young as five can learn to shoot and edit videos while creating a personal brand.

Interestingly enough, YouTube posting is actually only supposed to be for people 13 and up, as suggested by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. But no matter: There are workarounds, and (to be fair) none of the camps profile are affiliated with YouTube.

“It’s very common for kids to want to have a YouTube channel and to be famous like the people they look up to,” said Sierra Filucci, editorial director of Common Sense Media, to the Wall Street Journal. “Just like with anything a child might want to do—whether it’s being in the NBA or winning an Oscar—they should understand that very few people actually achieve that and there’s a lot of work and luck that goes into it.”

Should you be worried? The kids profiled in the WSJ report seemed to be doing this for fun or to (eventually) make money — what parent is gonna argue with their child pulling in $22 million per year reviewing toys? — and there was definitely more self-awareness amongst the kids than the adults. As 10-year old Jacob Alore told his mom, if his YouTube fantasies don’t work out, “Don’t worry, I’ll get a real job.”

As well, camps like Level Up and iD Tech Camps do teach useful audio/video skills, and many offer coding and robotics education (though others, like the L.A.-based StarCamps, advertise on “how to become an Internet sensation). The better ones seem to keep both parents and children’s expectations in check. As Level Up founder Jeff Hughes told the Journal, “We try to stress that this should be a hobby they do for the enjoyment of making a video, and that if they do it with the expectation of becoming rich and famous, it will be a stress for the family.”

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