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- YouTube has created a new generation of stars who are raking in thousands while still in elementary school.
- The trend has led to the creation of summer camps that teach kids how to create digital content and become YouTubers.
- Some of these camps cost $1,000 per week to teach children how to edit video footage, create personal brands, and post to platforms like TikTok and Twitch.
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With kids like Ryan of YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview generating millions of dollars a year by posting videos online, a new generation of children and teens are turning to summer camp to learn how to be become a YouTube star, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal’s Julie Jargon.
Various camps and educational programs have popped up that promise to teach elementary- and middle-school-aged kids how to create videos and become bonafide YouTube sensations. The camps go beyond video production and editing classes, and aim to tech skills needed for someone creating an online presence that’s ready to go viral.
These YouTube camps can set parents back up to $1,000 a week to let their children pursue YouTube stardom. Ed-tech company iD Tech offers week-long camps at colleges nationwide, and puts video cameras in the hands of kids who want to create vlogs, video game walk-throughs, “safe but funny” fail videos, product reviews, and short music-dubbed clips for platforms like TikTok.
“This camp branches out from traditional storytelling to how to create the fun and hilarious content that kids love to watch,” a camp called “YouTube STAR Creator Studio” advertises. “Become an Internet sensation … This camp is bound to go viral.”
Some of these camps are open to kids as young as 9, which is well below the minimum age of 13 that YouTube requires for users who sign up (in accordance with children’s online privacy laws). Camps claim they don’t help their young participants create their own accounts in violation of YouTube’s policies – they say they just teach kids how to create videos that their parents can then choose to post, the Journal reports.
The Journal talked to parents who are sending their kids to YouTube camps this summer, and many dismissed their children’s interests as mere hobbies, phases, and side gigs. But YouTube has produced a new crop of online personalities that can quit careers in favor of full-time jobs with full-time incomes as influencers and online creators.