School breaks are in the air! Many moms & dads attempt to avoid the parental scramble to cover their kiddo’s needs and their own to-do list by booking a camp. Curated Care private camps aim to be an easy, affordable and covid-compliant option for NYC and LA families.
A camp Kid Expert comes to you with a variety of movement-based equipment, engaging materials, and high-energy activities, utilizing your apartment and local parks and outdoor spaces. Designed for groups of 3-6 kiddos you put together that you have been social distancing with (your quaran-team!) private camps are souped-up, super structured child care sessions that provide flexibility and customization for families and kiddos.
We chatted with fam fav and camp Kid Expert Joel O about all things private camps!:
Hi Joel! Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hola! I’m Joel and I’m an actor and a college teacher in Jersey City. I’m someone who loves sports, silly dancing to music, and LOVES to learn languages (Spanish, French, ASL, Mandarin and just started Arabic!). My goal is to make sure everyone is laughing and having fun. I started Curated Care camps about 3 years ago.
How have they differed? Ages? Size of group? Caregivers present versus drop-off? How does that impact the day/camp?
Most of the kiddos I’ve had camps with have usually been between the ages of 3-5, but once in a while I’ve had 9 and 10 year olds for sports. Most of my camps have usually been a drop-off. If a child is nervous, we of course welcome the parent/caretaker staying for the first bit to get used to the transition. And I’ve also come to find that even if one of our kiddos is a bit unhappy that their parent/caregiver has left, they usually warm-up to our activity within an hour or so.
What are some of your fav activities to do during camp?
I personally love sports and anything that gets our energy up, whether that’s soccer, freeze tag, or some of our high-energy theatre games. On more relaxed days, I find that kiddos love a good science experiment:)
Do you usually do camps in doors or outdoors? Or a mix? How does that work?
I usually do camps outdoors but I’ve done some indoor camps when the weather wasn’t as cooperative. If it’s an indoor camp, usually one of our parents kindly steps up and offers their space for the time.
Let’s talk potty breaks! How does that work? Snack breaks?
If we’re doing a 9-1 camp, I’d usually do a potty break around 10:15, and at 12:30. Snack usually happens at 10:30 and lunch happens at 12pm. When potty breaks happen, it’s sooo useful to have a wagon that we can easily put bags and materials in as we head to the bathroom together. It’s also super helpful to pair our friends up to ensure that we all stick together on our trip.
With regards to Covid, how has that tweaked your protocol and itinerary?
We certainly wash our hands more often and wear masks when doing activities. I also make sure to keep our kiddos separate from other groups in the park. While some groups may want to tag along to what we’re doing, we don’t know what their safety measures are so we try to keep our fun contained.
What are your go-to supplies you bring to camp?
My go-to supplies are a ball, a hula-hoop and my speaker system for music. No matter what kind of camp we’re having, those always seem to make their way into the day.
What tips do you have for families & Kid Experts when scheduling and running their camps to help things go smoothly?
My tips would to just be flexible, communicate often and always have a backup. We may have a specific plan for activities and the schedule, but sometimes the kiddos may not be into the activity. So always make sure you have a go-to activity that always wins. And checking in with each other (Kid Experts and parents) is always good. If one of our kiddos is having a rough day, or has their heart set on an activity, or even if the day is going well, I think it’s a great gesture to keep everyone in the loop.
Any age too young for camp? Any age too old?
I welcome all ages but I would recommend keeping the ages consistent. A group of 5 year olds may be interested in doing an activity together but if we have a 2 year old among us, they may get bored and want do their own thing. At that point, it would be hard to keep an eye on everyone. So whatever group we have, keeping the ages as close as possible usually makes for higher engagement.
Fav moments from camp?
During our theater camp in the summer, we made a mini-play about a group of superheroes who needed to rescue a princess from the clutches of a shark; it was absolutely delightful. The kids had so much character, were so funny and committed. The focus among our group of 3 year old little actors was incredible.
Any additional tips or tricks we haven’t covered?
As Kid Experts, it’s always great to take lots of pictures and videos of the activities for our families and always keep the humor going!
Check out our current private camp offerings for more info! Or cruise around curatedcare.com to discover additional, awesome options for your minis!