Virtual Oklahoma camp gets national attention and campers from around the country


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A piece of land in northeast Oklahoma City gives campers the ultimate outdoor experience.

While concerns about the novel coronavirus are keeping them from meeting, camp is still happening.

“What are we going to do to keep reaching children? They need this connection. They need this opportunity. We want to get them active. We want to get them talking to each other,” said Penn Henthorn, camp and program director for Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma.

This year, Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma: Camp Dakani is mailing boxes to campers’ houses.

“They’ll get a dinosaur and a little bag of flour and a bag of salt,” Parent Danielle Wickstrom said.

There’s also interactive video sessions with camp counselors with the full virtual camp experience.

It’s a first for the 64-year-old organization, but it has gotten national media coverage and new campers from around the country.

“We know have people from all over the metro as well as New Jersey, Washington, Colorado Florida,” Henthorn said.

The Wickstrom family has two children, who are eight and 13-years-old, in the Camp At Home program.

“It may not be physical, but just getting to talk to somebody else that’s not in our household and connect with them and say, ‘Hey, we’re going through the same thing,'” she said.

The virtual experience could even expand in unexpected ways.

“Just to be able to reach kids with camp who can’t come out to camp, so that might be kids at the hospital. It might be kids who are home bound for one reason or another,” Henthorn said.

Creating a new way to camp indoors.

The full virtual camp started this week.

If you’d like a buy a camp in a box, it’s $80 and can be found here.

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