Walmart’s virtual camp has Neil Patrick Harris, other celebrities leading kids' activities

Drew Barrymore, LeBron James and more will co-host Camp by Walmart activities online

Although the coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to most summer camp festivities, families who aren’t able to send their kids away can instead partake in Walmart’s celebrity-hosted virtual camp.

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The online camp, which launched July 8, can be accessed through the Walmart app under “Camp by Walmart.” It will be hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris, who is serving as head camp counselor, and has 50 free camp activities to keep users occupied. Harris leads 14 camp challenges, including a game called “Nail’s Charades” and musical mad libs.

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Throughout the virtual summer camp, Harris will be joined by famous friends like actress Drew Barrymore, NBA star LeBron James, singer and actress Idina Menzel and fashion designer Todd Oldham, according to a company press release.

Barrymore will lead a makeup tutorial while James will host mental and physical activities. Menzel, on the other hand, will sing during a “Skills Camp” while Oldham will teach arts and crafts and fashion.

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WMTWALMART INC.131.89+1.69+1.30%

“Through our digital means and vast footprint of stores, we’re hoping to bring some summer fun to families across the country,” Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said in a statement. “We know Walmart plays a role in our communities that extends far beyond getting them necessary supplies, and we see that now more than ever.”

More than 14 million children and adults attend a camp each year, according to estimates from the American Camp Association. The organization also says that camp is an $18 billion industry.

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It is not immediately clear how much money has been lost due to the coronavirus, however, 62 percent of camps remain shuttered, according to a June survey from Camp Minder, a summer camp management software company.

Children playing tug-of-war with rope in a city park. (iStock)

Walmart’s interactive online camp and similar virtual programs that can be accessed from the safety of home may feel like the safer option for families who are concerned about the spiking number of coronavirus cases.

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A Missouri summer camp closed last week after 82 campers and staff tested positive for the potentially deadly virus, according to news station KFSM-TV.

More than 3.4 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus since late January, data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard shows.