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Virtual drone camps to keep kids busy this summer

Virtual drone camps have emerged as a pretty interesting alternative to traditional summer camps

Courtesy: Kansas State Polytechnic

According to the American Camp Association, more than 20 million kids attend camp each summer in the United States. But with COVID-19 pandemic leading to the cancelation of many traditional sleepaway and day camps this summer, parents have been looking at online substitutes to keep their kids occupied in a productive pursuit.

Virtual drone camps have emerged as a pretty interesting option in this backdrop. These online courses will not only allow kids and teens to learn something new, but they are also a fun, inventive way to hone the interest of students in the emerging fields of drones and robotics.

Kansas State Polytechnic, for example, will bring teenagers an online drone experience next week through a program called UAS Virtual Academy. The program will teach students flight fundamentals and maneuvers for multirotor aircraft and allow them to discover photography and video skills. The registration window for K-State’s virtual drone program is closed now, but there are several other options that can be considered:

Mercer County Community College

What: Drone Legends Virtual Camp

When: Multiple dates from June to August

For whom: Ages 9-12

Fees: $325 (with drone); $175 (without drone)

Registration: Click here

This virtual camp will teach kids about drones, drone technology, and how to competently and correctly pilot a drone. The camp will be conducted using a programmable drone called Tello, which would allow the instructors to teach kids the basics of programming while having fun. In the very first class, the kids will program their own flight patterns with Tello, commanding it to perform fully autonomous flight missions.

Courtesy: SPIRE Academy

SPIRE Academy and the Museum of Future Sports

What: Pro Drone Racing Summer Bootcamp

When: June 21-27, July 12-18, July 19-25

For whom: Grades 9-12

Fees: $899

Registration: Click here

With a complete FPV drone kit (drone, goggles, controller, and Velocidrone) delivered to each camper, SPIRE’s virtual drone racing camps will include daily multiplayer races and sim practice. Flight practice will be combined with engineering, programming bench work, and presentations from visiting pro drone pilots.

Challenger Learning Center St. Louis

What: Virtual Drone Maker Camp

When: July 20-24

For whom: Ages 12 and up

Fees: $195

Registration: Click here

To enable campers to build and design their own drone, Challenger Learning Center will send participants an education drone kit valued at over $100. During the week of camp, Challenger staff will meet with campers virtually to coach them in drone assembly and coding. Campers will practice with drone simulation software and work together to complete drone missions.

Michigan Air & Space Summer Camp

What: FPV Drone Racing

When: July 20-24

For whom: Grades 9-12

Fees: $249

Registration: Click here

In this virtual summer drone racing camp, participants will be introduced to First Person View (FPV) drone racing fundamentals, getting their feet wet, and being able to participate in FPV drone race competitions. The camp will conclude with a multi-player race competition. You will need to bring your own drone.

“So, pilots, give a thumbs up if you have good video! Arm your quads! On the tone in less than 5…”


Ishveena is an independent journalist and writer with a passion for drones and location technologies. In the last 12 years, she has worked with both mainstream media organizations (Miami Herald International, Times of India, Microsoft MSN) and dedicated geospatial technology media (Geospatial World, Geoawesomeness). With a deep understanding of content marketing and social media, Ishveena also helps private companies (DJI, Terra Drone Corporation) to generate qualified leads through useful and timely content. When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find her on road trips, eating her way through life, or binge-watching TV shows. Connect with Ishveena on LinkedIn or Twitter


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