Growing Up Muted
As a parent of two teen boys who both began new schools this fall, I've seen firsthand how true Bo's statement is. Neither one of them have made a single friend this year, aside from some sketchy characters they met while gaming. Thinking back to my own childhood, I can't imagine a year on mute, without friends, or any way to make them. I needed access to new friends, especially when friend groups shifted rapidly, and I was sometimes the odd one out. Studies such as this one published in Science Daily show that children are three times as likely to develop depression during the pandemic due to social isolation.
As we approach a long, lonely Winter, with the virus surging across America, the question bears asking: how we can provide our kids with the social opportunities they need, while still staying safe and socially distanced?
Running Camp Cosmo online every day for almost 8 months now has given me a unique perspective on this topic. I've seen firsthand how even one new friend can improve a child's outlook on life. It’s one of the many reasons I'm so passionate about what we do. Camp Cosmo gives kids a safe space to form new friendships. Unlike online school, here they are invited to unmute themselves, play with video filters, talk about shared interests, and have fun. Cosmo classes are not just "more screen time" for our kids; they are conduits for connection.
Last week, I witnessed a friendship blossom between two boys; one in Santa Monica, CA and one in a small town outside Dallas, Texas. They are worlds apart in so many ways, yet they discovered each other, and their shared passion for aviation, in our Airplane Club. Even online, these kinds of connections form the basis for very real friendships -- and make the world just a little less lonely.
Through this winter and beyond, Camp Cosmo will continue to offer new ways to keep kids creative and connected. Airplane Club, Harry Potter Trivia Challenge, DnD, Front Row Adventures, TikTok Dance Class, Breakfast Book Club, Slime Lab, Pokémon Math, Project Runway Fashion Challenge, and all the rest of Camp Cosmo's fun, games. and enrichment will be running throughout the holiday season. When school is out, Camp Cosmo is on!
And Kids, we want to hear your ideas for new classes based on whatever you're into, no matter how off-the-wall it might sound. (Add them into the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.) You never know, there might be someone else out there who would really like it - and you.
We hope you will join us - and UNMUTE!
The Creative Kids Network, founded in 2013.