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Choosing A Summer Camp

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Summer Camping are perhaps the best way for students to spend their summer holidays. Summer camp programs include ordinary sports and educational camp programs to adventure tripping camps for teens, youth, and youth groups. If you are considering having a summer camp, keep the following things in mind

1. When? – Most camps are not going to be offered every week of the summer. With that in mind, construct your summer calendar with major milestones such a family vacations, house guests, etc. to give you an idea of the weeks that you won’t want to have your child(ren) in summer camps. This gives you a starting point of available summer camp weeks.

2. Where? – How far are you really willing to drive every day? Will you be driving during rush hour? Will the location and schedule fit with your own work/family schedule during the summer? Are their siblings’ schedules to consider? Can you share carpooling with a friend who will also be attending the camp?

3. Format – Half-day, full-day, sleep-away? For a child new to summer camps, start with a half day camp and see if your child can handle the pace. Kids who are used to going to school all-day may think full-day camps are a breeze but younger children may be too tired to enjoy them, no matter the content.

4. Content – The variety of camps is endless. Sports, science, art, music and educational pursuits can all be found. Multidimensional camps that combine different sports or activities are another great option if you or your child can’t decide or if their interests vary. Trying something new may uncover a hidden talent or interest.

5. Cost – If you are on a budget, some camps may not be an option. However, in most cases camps are priced based on staffing credentials, program content, services offered and reputation. One week at a higher-priced well-run camp may be worth two weeks at a lower-priced camp.

6. Reputation – Tip: If you find a camp you REALLY want your child enrolled in, find out when enrollment opens and sign up as soon as you can. Many of the popular camps fill up quickly. Check and see if the camp’s website will send out email notifications about registration dates. If you are too late, take advantage of their waitlists.

7. Services offered – Are the “extras” like extended care before and after camp or on-site lunches important to you?

8. Friend availability – Many times parents will choose a camp based on an invitation by a friend. As a parent, this can be a great thing if you can share carpooling duties. It also ensures that your child knows at least one person in the camp.