How to Pick a Summer Camp for Kids

How To Pick A Summer Camp For Kids

Sending your kids away for a few weeks in the summer gives them something fun to do while you get a much needed break.  Knowing How To Pick A Summer Camp For Kids is tough if you haven't experienced it before for your self.  These tips are just a few that we feel are important when you are making a decision about who your kids will spend their time with, and what ways that will benefit them.  Summer camp should be a fun experience and not stressful or something they fear.  Making sure your child is ready and going to the right place is the most important part of your job as a parent in this decision making process.

How To Pick A Summer Camp For Kids

Ask for personal referrals.  One of the best ways to know you are making the right decision when you pick a summer camp for kids, is to ask your friends and family for recommendations.  Knowing first hand about the experiences of another parent and their child will help to ease your mind.  Especially if you are fearful of your child being bullied, being uncomfortable or not fitting in.  Ask people you trust and know in real life for their honest opinions and suggestions.  There are a multitude of summer camps nationwide with great reputations, but sometimes it really is best to ask that person you trust first hand for their thoughts before you book your child to go to a new summer camp.

Consider their emotional and physical needs.  Since there are a multitude of summer camps out there to choose from, making sure your child has their needs met is much easier.  Gone are the days of all camps being the same.  Now you can find camps that are specific for their interests (drama, robotics, special needs, athletics).  Consider what your child needs emotionally and physically to thrive.  Do they feel left out most of the time in school?  Perhaps a more specific camp devoted to their passions like the items mentioned above would be a better choice.  Do your research.  Look outside the basic camps for camps that feature activities that will fit their needs, desires and passions both physically and emotionally.

Look at cost effective solutions for your budget.  We have to be honest.  Summer camp can be a budget drain, especially when you have multiple children to send.  Camps closer to home cut costs considerably.  There are also a multitude of options out there for sponsorships, scholarships and even the chance for you or an older sibling to go and work at the camp to help offset the cost of attendance.  The American Camp Association has a ton of information available for those who are trying to make decisions about summer camp and the cost involved.

  • The ACA camp community generates a projected $216 million annually for camp scholarships. Don’t be afraid to call the camp director and ask if financial assistance is available.
  • Contact your area’s local office of the American Camp Association. Visit www.ACAcamps.org/about/contactus to find your local office contact.
  • Check with your church or synagogue.
  • Get in touch with social services groups in your community.
  • Visit individual camp Web sites. Most clearly outline whether or not they offer financial assistance for their campers.

Listen to their desires.  Don't force summer camp on your kids.  Sit down and look for the best fun and exciting adventure at camp for them.  Listen to their fears, needs and desires.  Let your children play a big part in the decision making process.  It's important for them to be shown respect when their opinions are expressed.

Spend some time with your kids and make lists of the things everyone believes are important in this decision making process.  Before you know it, you'll be able to easily pick a summer camp for kids that you feel comfortable sending them to, and they will be excited to attend.

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