'My daughter wants to become a YouTuber. So I send her to a camp that teaches her.'

Kids in Australia, and all around the world, want to be famous online — and now there are education programs ready to teach children everything to become the next big thing. 

Think Charli D'Amelio. Jacob Sartorius. Emma Chamberlain. Latisha and Deja Clark. 

All celebrities in the world of social media, with each of them having millions of followers. As for what they have in common? They began their foray into a world online while they were still kids. 

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In 2020, Charli was the first person on TikTok to reach 100 million followers. She was 16 years old. Jacob might be 21 now, but back in 2017, he was a 14-year-old teenager who had just dropped his latest single to more than 15 million fans.

For Australian content creators Latisha and Deja, aged 18 and 13, they have been in the limelight for years, featuring in their mother's TikTok videos that rake in millions of views each day. 

Fame found them suddenly — almost rather accidentally. 

But for the children who look up to them and are interested in following in their idols' footsteps, there are 'camps' for kids that specialise in making them stars.


A 2019 survey of 3,000 kids found that being a YouTube star was a more sought-after profession than being an astronaut among kids in the US and the UK.

And it makes sense when you think about it. 

Technology is the defining feature of our time. The internet, once a complicated beast, fueled social media to communicate ideas, beliefs and hobbies in digestible pieces of content. Over time, social media has become part of our daily lives. The content we engage in is now the stuff that forms our opinions and fuels our entertainment. The people behind all of it are the ones that we idolise.

And unlike being a Hollywood star, a YouTuber, Twitch streamer or TikTok creator is much more feasible. 

Code Camp, an after-school and holiday program for kids aged 5-13, has ushered in over 100,000 students across 130 locations around the country. They've been able to cater to a new audience by accepting that the internet is no longer a privilege or a rite of passage. Rather, it's now part of our everyday lives.

"We were the first to teach kids to code in Australia so we have always made it our mission to stay ahead of the game and be at the forefront of cool tech based programs," Ashley Gabriel de Sousa, spokesperson for Code Camp, tells Mamamia. 

"We started YouTube Creators to teach these kids to become creators of content so they direct and produce their own ideas instead of just watching other people."


Content creator and mother of three girls Aimee Everson found that a camp angled towards teaching kids about social media to be helpful for her nine-year-old daughter who has touted aspirations of being a YouTuber when she grows up. 

"I just don't have time to teach her the ins and outs because I'm busy so I thought it would be a great chance for her to learn with other kids about what it is like to have and run your own channel," she explains. 

"They taught her how to narrate, how to edit videos and how to upload the video online."

There's a misconception that the program is a detailed course, but it's more of an introduction for kids who want to understand how it works. 

"She still needs to learn a lot but it was a good intro for her and she got to test the waters," Aimee says. 

Aimee Everson says enrolling her nine-year-old daughter in a course teaching her how to be a YouTuber was an educational experience. Image: Supplied.


Of course, some would disagree with the program. It's not exactly inspiring to pay hundreds of dollars to get kids off of their iPads into a program that teaches them how to be better at using it. 

But, that's not exactly a fair assumption. After all, Code Camp is one of the many around the world harnessing the power of tech by encouraging kids to figure out solutions to challenging tasks — like how to edit videos and speak confidently. 

For the parents who might disagree with allowing children to undergo classes that essentially make them better at social media, Aimee says it's all about creating "healthy boundaries". 

"It's important to teach your kids about moderation because it can be addictive," she tells Mamamia. "We limit screen time for our kids and we establish those healthy boundaries, but it's important to remember that this is how the world is going.


"I don't want my kids to be left out."

Christine Carrera's children loved being part of Code Camp's YouTuber masterclass. Image: Supplied.

For digital content creator Christine Carrera, getting her two daughters into a program that taught them how to use social media would be a "good introduction" so they could better understand what it is really like to be a social media influencer. 


"They're really into coding, technology and editing so we figured it would be a good time for them to learn about it all," she tells Mamamia. "They were seven and nine years old when they did their first course and they've done a few sessions since."

With technology constantly evolving, she had similar ideas to Aimee, explaining she doesn't want her children to miss out on learning — especially when social media is so ingrained in our world. 

Christine Carrera says her two girls had a positive experience learning how to be YouTubers during a three-day-long course. Image: Supplied.


"I think kids these days are smarter and these courses help to educate them more," Christine says, adding that learning skills like video editing and script writing are positive learnings that will benefit her children whether they pursue a career on social media or not. 

"That's so much stuff I couldn't do at their age and I think that these kids are ready to explore the world of social media without actually being part of it," she adds. 

"I'm not saying they're going to start a YouTube channel right now. It's just a fun experience for them but now they have those skills."

Code Camp prioritises digital safety too, accounting for the fact children are the main focus of these channels. 

"We have safety modules that kids work through with their instructor," Ashley shares adding that they cover how to not fall for scams, how to have proper security measures that protect our identities and anti-bullying measures. 

"Success for us is all about happy smiling kids, and happy parents. If they’ve had three fun-filled days and learned some valuable skills they can take away and apply to their own projects at home, then we’ve done our job well."

Featured Image: Supplied.