Yesterday I posted about GS New Media’s virtual world for tweens/teens. It crossed my mind as slightly worrisome that such a thing could prove to be a gateway drug to something like World of Warcraft, cultivating a generation of pale, air conditioned children who expect experience points from their every action.
AndyCamper, from Ottawa, seeks to introduce kids to the outdoors. The site combines information, activities, and videos relating to plants, animals, geology, and astronomy. It uses articles, videos, and pictures to introduce a subject (like “bugs”) and then gives them related outdoor activities (“build a bug jar”). One interesting activity is geocaching, where people hide “treasure” and post the coordinates online for others to find with a GPS device. Oh, the things kids get to do these days.
Good, original content for kids is valuable and hard to find, and AndyCamper delivers a nice selection of it with the promise of regular updates. The content is further branched out to Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook. A mobile site is also provided to deliver the content to an iPhone or iPod Touch. Their content also appears to be designed with educators in mind. The site has no advertising, but sells t-shirts, stickers, and activity cards. Nice job, campers, on using social media to encourage kids to engage the outdoor world around them.