Recently, a new trend has emerged: camps designed to teach children the art of becoming YouTubers. The surge in popularity of online creators has fueled a desire among kids to explore the world of digital content creation. Creator Camp, a summer program founded by young creators, exemplifies this trend, attracting over 1,300 campers across Texas this summer alone.
The allure of becoming a full-time creator has become a prominent career goal for children globally. Surveys show that nearly 30% of kids aged 8 to 12 consider "YouTuber" as their top career choice. To meet this growing demand, after-school programs, summer camps, and even traditional institutions are incorporating YouTube-focused tracks and classes into their curricula.
At Creator Camp, children aged 6 to 13 dive into technical skills such as video editing, storyboarding, scripting, and vlogging basics. The camp's goal is to change the participants' relationship with technology, encouraging them to view it as a tool for creation rather than mere entertainment. The program emphasizes digital safety, teaching kids to use pseudonyms and creating videos for creative expression rather than financial gain.
Despite varying levels of access to technology, the camp fosters an inclusive environment where kids explore filmmaking passions using devices ranging from iPhones to family iPads. The camp's success lies in providing a space where kids can learn to be creative and develop marketable skills.
While economic opportunities of being a YouTuber captivate many campers, the camp founders stress the importance of creating videos for fun and expression. However, kids like Colin, 9, believe that YouTube offers a path to success: "YouTube is a good path to getting rich because once you upload a ton of videos, that’s when you start getting likes and money."
Beyond dreams of wealth, campers see YouTube as a platform for self-expression, social success, and even a means to overcome personal challenges. As one camper expressed, "YouTube gets you to do things that you were never able to do before."
In conclusion, the rise of YouTube camps reflects a broader societal shift in the way children perceive technology, creativity, and potential career paths. By providing a space for kids to learn digital skills, camps like Creator Camp are contributing to the emergence of a new generation of content creators.