Picking a summer camp is an important decision that parents make every spring season. Finding the camp that’s right for your children and also fits within a budget can be challenging. With a little preparation, you can find an option that will give your children a great experience.
The first step to picking a summer camp is to ask your children what they want to spend their summer doing. If they don’t get to be part of the process, they may not enjoy the camp selected. Ask them what a great summer camp would look like for them. If they don’t have an answer, think about your children’s preferences. Are they indoor kids? Do they like to be outdoors? Do they play sports? Do they thrive in small groups or large groups? Each child is different, so you will want to take their own individual personalities into consideration too. It’s important to consider the characteristics of the camp or facility too, so you can determine how your children will mesh there.
Before setting your heart on one summer camp, it’s best to know your budget and how much flexibility you have. Summer camps vary in price depending on whether they are day camps or sleepaway camps, and sometimes specialty camps can be even more expensive than both. Figure out what you can afford and remove camps with rates above that budgeted amount. Find out total price and what’s included such as meals, transportation, etc. Costs can add up so you need to know the total cost of the camp before you commit to it. Virtual on-demand camps like Happy Camper Live’s Music Camps can be a budget-friendly option.
You can learn a lot of information about a summer camp from the website and social media. You can learn the values, vibes, and what a typical day is often like. Let your child browse the websites with you during the research phase to see what stands out to them. Pay attention to facilities and activities to see if there is a good mix or if it’s only outdoor activities, or only crafts. You should also ask what a typical day is like. A good mix includes active time such as swimming or games, combined with some downtime like reading or arts and crafts. Ask about the counselor-to-camper ratio so you know how much attention your child will receive. For some camps, like day camps, this might not be as important, but if you’re hoping your child will receive extra guidance and attention, you might look for a camp with a better ratio.
Safety is an important factor for any parent planning to send their children to sleepaway camp. Confirm respective camps are accredited by the American Camp Association. It is the only national accrediting body for camps of all types, and focuses on health, safety, and risk management.
Once you’ve narrowed down your summer camp options, contact the camp. You can only learn so much from the website, and there’s no substitute for looking at it with your own eyes or talking to someone who runs it.
If you’re able to take a tour, bring your child along to get a feel for it too.
Calling the camp director is another great option if you can’t commute to the camp or if a tour isn’t available. A good camp director will make time to talk to parents of potential campers. During that call ask about special accommodations your child might need or anything that you weren’t able to learn from the website. You can ask about policies like bullying response or how the camp encourages friendship-building when kids are shy. Have a list of questions ready when you call so you feel comfortable making a decision about which camp to send your children to this summer.
Tagged:- find a summer camp, shopping for summer camp, summer camp, summer camp 2023
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