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Summer Camp in the Digital Age

Techstination feature for Friday, July 27, 2001

In the midst of summer... parents who miss their kids away at camp are turning to the Web. Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. At first... you really appreciate the quiet around the house. And then, you start to miss the kids away at camp. Those pangs are at the heart of a business model... for a Web site called that has helped to connect parents with their kids in camps around the country... .

"That allows parents, in a password protected area, to see pictures of their kids, updated daily. Allows them to send one way emails to a camp owner who then prints out the emails and distributes them with the mail to their camper. They can send care packages. They can purchase all the stuff they need to go to camp with."

Bunk1 Founder Ari Ackerman. The one way email link is intentional... ..the kids have to write real letters... on paper... to reply...

"What we didn't want to do was take away from the integrity of the camp experience by having them inside and on the computer. It's just simply a one way email from parent to child, cause the child should be outside playing ball and hanging out with their friends and experiencing all the great things that camp has to offer."

Ackerman spent his summers as a kid in camp... as did most of the other staffers. The founder came up with the idea while he was still in business school... .before the dot com bubble burst. With private funding, the company is surviving... .working on the toughest craft project of all... turning a profit. Bloomberg Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin.