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Finally, a summer camp that combines coding and outdoor fun

July 24, 2019
kids posing outside the Traction on Demand bus

Forget archery and even high ropes. Traction for Good’s Bikes & Bytes is the summer camp of the present and future.

Bikes & Bytes, in partnership with Cycling BC, runs for one week and includes three hours of coding instruction and three hours of bike adventure.

Not your mama's summer camp

“We teach HTML and CSS,” says Shirley Loi, Traction for Good’s Community Engagement Manager. “Kids are now learning Scratch at school at either five or six years old, but rather than using a drag-and-drop program, our campers learn how to build websites using code. They learn what header and title tags are, how to embed videos and images, and how pages are linked.”

According to Shirley, there’s a real need for programs that combine the outdoor activities of traditional summer camps with skills that will take kids into the future. “Simon Fraser University Camps, one of our partners in Burnaby, says Bikes & Bytes is one of the quicker camps to sell out each year.”

The kids love the coding portion of Bikes & Bytes because they can tangibly see what they’re creating right away. “They really get into the problem solving,” says Shirley. “The difference of a slash going one way over the other way, for example. It changes the code completely, and the kids can see how they broke the code and how to fix it.”

Bikes & Bytes campers are encouraged to help out one another as they learn HTML and CSS.

Inspiring philanthropy in kids

In keeping in line with one of Traction for Good’s four key pillars—inspiring philanthropy—the summer camp gets kids thinking about how they can make a difference in their communities. The campers create websites based on the causes they care about. “One of our campers focused on the Terry Fox Foundation because her family had been affected by cancer. Another one chose Greenpeace and got deep into researching environmental causes; it was really incredible!”

The “Bytes” portion of the camp is taught by Tractionites of all different backgrounds, including developers, videographers and marketers. “The beauty of the camp is that we all work alongside each other. There’s great collaboration among the kids in helping each other.”

Register now for the August sessions of Bikes & Bytes in Burnaby (August 19-23) and Bikes & Bytes in Nelson (Aug 12-16, girls camp and boys camp).

Traction on Demand in Nelson, British Columbia

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