As the father of an active tween, Taye Diggs understands the value of summer camp. The celebrity father also knows about the dangers posed by the current coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively moved all summer camp experiences to the virtual world.
Kids who look forward to physically attending summer camps can still get the most out of their virtual experience, thanks to Quaker Chewy, owned by the Quaker Oats Company, which allows parents to share their family’s favorite camp activities for a chance to win $250 “play money.” Of course, the “play money” translates to a gift card and Camp Chewy gear. Still, the virtual collaboration between families remains priceless.
Taye Diggs recently connected with BCK to discuss his partnership with Quaker Chewy for this year’s No Camp, No Problem experience. Read on to see what the veteran actor said about the program and his forthcoming children’s books.
BCK: How have you coped with quarantine season? How is your son dealing with this “new normal”?
Diggs: My day job was on hiatus, so I was fortunate with that timing. This has also allowed me to spend more time with my son, so I’ve been enjoying that. I’ve been able to spend extra time with my son and get to know a different side of him. We’re doing activities together we wouldn’t normally do. We’ve been breaking out a lot of board games, taking nature walks and have been enjoying night swims. We’ve been having really great conversations during this time that are giving us a lot more insight into each other.
My son is doing alright. We’re making sure he stays busy – and he’s been staying in touch with his friends virtually. They’ve been doing “virtual sleepovers” where they stay up late and play video games. The silver lining is that this time makes us more aware of every moment because we’re forced to be in lock down and in closed quarters. It’s forcing people to use their imagination, but also be more aware of what they’re doing every minute of every day.
BCK: You have partnered with Quaker Chewy to recreate the summer camp experience for your son and other kids. Can you tell us more about that?
Diggs: Summer looks a little different for everyone this year, but it’s important to still have fun. I have a 10-year-old son, Walker, who was devasted when his summer camp was cancelled this year, so this partnership with Quaker Chewy that focuses on bringing the summer camp experience home was a perfect fit. At our Camp Chewy we play catch, shoot hoops, go on nature walks, he teaches me new TikTok dances and we go for nightly swims together. While he was so sad when his camp was cancelled, I’m selfishly enjoying getting the opportunity to spend so much time with him. Parents can find fun camp-themed ideas to help their families continue to enjoy their own Camp Chewy at home at NoCampNoProblem.com.
BCK: Can you give parents advice on how to maintain a balance between self-care, work, and family during these unprecedented times?
Diggs: It’s hard! I think the biggest thing is listening – listening to what your family needs as well as listening to yourself. As a parent, we often feel like we have to be on all the time. It’s ok to just pause and take a break when you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
BCK: What are three things that you would suggest parents do to make the most of summer this year?
Diggs: Try something new! Don’t be scared to be silly. Right now, my son is trying to teach me TikTok dances. Trying be the key word. But I’m up for whatever Walker wants to do. I would say get on your kid’s level. Listen to them and what activities they want to do. And, as much as possible, get out outside and feel the sun on your face.
BCK: How do you feel parents should prepare now that it appears kids will learn online for at least the fall semester of the upcoming school year?
Diggs: I’ve been lucky with my son, he’s been cool about online learning. I don’t know if it’s his age or just who he is as a person. He’s pretty easy going as long as there is something to do. I think parents just need to remember that school at home is new for kids – just like working from home is new for adults. The lines can blur when you are home 24/7. Make sure you give your kids the permission to take breaks, play, eat, chat with friends and then get back to school work.
BCK: Quarantine season has, for some, brought out the worst in terms of diet and exercise. What tips could you give to parents searching for ways to maintain healthy living while together at home with their kids?
Diggs: For me, it was making sure to get out of the house. Once you get out and can feel the sun on your face and breathe fresh air – it makes it a little easier to do anything else. Get outside and get active!
BCK: Your children’s books have been in the spotlight as of late because of societal changes. How do you feel about that and what suggestions would you give parents who read your books to their children?
Diggs: Another silver lining from being at home and spending so much time with my son is that we’ve had the chance to really have these deep conversations about what’s going on in the world. I’m actually working on my fourth children’s book about the recent events that have taken place. I’ve had the chance to read pieces of it to Walker and get his thoughts on it. It’s been really special to have him be a part of this process to help share this message with other families.
BCK: Can you tell us more about your children’s books and other projects?
Diggs: Shooting for Season 3 of All American is coming up this Fall and I wrote two more children’s books! The one coming out next is called, My Friend and is about two friends trying to keep each other on the straight and narrow. The other one that I wrote deals with Black Lives Matter, which was great that my son has been able to spend time with me here at home because as soon as I finished writing it I let him read it and it really felt great that he felt comfortable enough to tell me how he felt and that I felt comfortable enough to get his thoughts on it. As soon as the illustrations are done, that will be published as soon as possible.
No Camp, No Problem ends on July 21, 2020. Sign up to participate in the program here. Stay tuned for more celebrity father news!
Photo: Michael Simon