How to pick a summer camp for your kids

    by Tianna G. Hansen

    While the winter begins to melt away, it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Where will you and your kids be spending the days (and/or nights)?

    The pandemic has forced us all into a more isolated existence and increased screen-time, especially for kids who have had to transition to virtual learning. One great way to combat this is to get your kids out into the world! What better way than a summer camp?

    If you’ve been considering a summer camp for your child, make sure you take their interests into consideration. Parents might feel better taking the camp selection process into their hands but allowing your child to help in the decision process will ensure they feel comfortable, especially if you’re considering an overnight summer camp. You want to make sure your kids feel confident.

    Summer camps are tailored to invigorate your kids, allowing them the opportunity to meet and socialize with new friends, try new activities, and get outdoors!

    If you’re seeking a summer camp tailored to your kids’ interests, it may seem a bit overwhelming. Below we’ve compiled some things for you to consider when seeking the ideal summer camp for your children to flourish.

    First thing to consider is whether you’d like an all-around camp experience, or a specialty camp focusing on a specific sport, robotics, art, theater and more. The options are endless, so let’s dig in!

    What environment are you seeking? The best question to ask yourself, or your child, is where they will feel happiest. Select a camp that offers an environment where they feel safe to learn and grow, invent and create.

    Many camps include outdoor activities, swimming and games or special events that will help your child excel. They can also help your kids gain self-confidence and learn new skills.

    Some camps are overnight while others are during the day. How are you (and your child) seeking to spend the summer?

    Here are some things to consider when you are choosing between a few:

    • Process of hiring staff (does the camp perform background checks, experience levels, average age, etc.).
    • Ratio of staff to camp attendees (American Camp Association recommends one staff to every six campers, age 7-8; one staff to every 10 campers, age 9 to 14; and one for every 12 campers, age 15-17).
    • Level of expertise at specialty camps (i.e., a music camp should have professional music teachers who conduct activities).

    Now is the perfect time to begin researching, as summer camps have increased in popularity and many are already filling waitlists.

    Overall, the most important thing is that you and your child select a camp that will suit their interests and give them the most out of their summer!

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