Children longing for that summer camp experience can find the next best thing on Camp TV weekdays at 10 a.m. on Rhode Island PBS.
Public television stations across the country are working together to create this unique one-hour public television series that brings the day camp experience to children nationwide for the next five weeks, now through Friday, August 7. And if you miss any episodes, the entire series will be repeated through September 4, 2020.
Providing ideas for fun, accessible at-home activities for children who cannot go to camp this summer, Camp TV is hosted by a head counselor played by Zachary Noah Piser, a Broadway performer (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “Wicked”) who guides campers as they learn through play.
Show creators hope to bring home some of the magic, learning, and fun of summer camp through Camp TV. Public media stations have stepped forward to fill gaps in creative ways to help children learning at home during the pandemic. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Camp TV brings the camp experience to children sheltering at home, while also helping to prevent a ‘summer slide’ in student learning.
In each episode, head counselor Zach welcomes campers with a song and announces the day’s theme: Silly Hat Day, Camping Day, Rhyme Day, Silly Sock Day, Backwards Day, and more. Zach then guides campers through a variety of activities — exploring nature, math, science, the arts, movement, storytelling, and writing.
Kids will learn about surface tension while making bouncing bubbles, and discover shapes while creating a flying origami star. Children will also learn magic tricks, turn sneakers into tap shoes, create an oboe from a straw, and even make guacamole. The fun doesn’t stop there. Children will meet all kinds of animals, too, from a playful bearcat to chickens who like classical music. For the book lovers out there, every episode also includes a storytelling segment that features a different book of the day.
Locally, Rhode Island PBS will produce three segments for the series with project partners Roger Williams Park Zoo and Save The Bay. “Be Like a Sloth” visits Roger Williams Park Zoo’s newborn baby sloth and explores the special care involved in raising newborn animals at the zoo. You can see that episode on August 3, 2020. In another segment, Rhode Island PBS visits with Save the Bay to explore ocean acidification, what it is and what is being done about it here in the Ocean State. A third segment, also with Save the Bay, tracks the “food web.” Once considered a single, linear “food chain” the complex food ecosystem is now recognized as an interconnected and overlapping series of food chains.
Segments, stories, and activities in national segments of Camp TV include Bedtime Math, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Chamber Music Society, Children’s Museum of the Arts, Franklin Institute, Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Let’s Learn NYC!, Liberty Science Center, Lincoln Center, Macmillan, Memphis Zoo, National Dance Institute, New Victory Theater, New York Botanical Garden, New York Public Library, New York Road Runners, Playworks, ReadWorks, Story Pirates, and Wildlife Conservation Society.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS broadcasts over the air on digital 36.1, Cox 08/1008HD | Verizon FiOS 08/508HD | Full Channel 08 | Comcast 819HD | Verizon FiOS 18/518HD in MA | DirecTV 36 | Dish Network 36. The series also streams online weekdays at 10 a.m. on ripbs.org/stream.
Camp TV is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. The program is distributed nationally by The WNET Group. Sandra Sheppard is executive producer. Melinda Toporoff is series producer and writer. Kevin Di Salvo is coordinating producer. Maria Stoian is producer.
Major funding for Camp TV is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by Joan Ganz Cooney.