How To Pick The Right Summer Camp For Your Child
Summer is right around the corner and many of us are faced with the daunting task of keeping our children busy (and happy) for all of it. Summer camps are an excellent way of doing this that also provides life-long memories and skills.
As a child I was sent to an 8-week overnight summer camp every summer. As a mom, I love having my kids around all summer, especially in the evenings, so for my family, day camps work for us now.
Why is Summer Camp important?
Good question! Every camp counselor in the world would answer you that it let’s kids roam and play in a way they can no longer do at home in our neighborhoods. It encourages them to disconnect with electronics while they reconnect with nature and outdoor activities. Summer camp builds independence, confidence in the child as they discover just how much they can do on their own.
Summer camp will give them experiences that will shape who they will become in the future. It will give your kids a chance to test themselves, see what they really are made of, to learn about themselves. It is invaluable.
So How Do I Pick The Right Summer Camp For My Child?
It’s not as hard as you think. There are lots of good summer camps out there. Follow these simple steps and you will be sure to find the right place.
- Do Your Research. That means google, talk to people, visit the camp, look up the reviews. A camp that has been around for generations and is maintained well is a good sign. People post reviews now, read them with a grain of salt! Learn as much of the camp history as you can. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the better choice you will be able to make.
- Compare. Once you have narrowed down your choices, compare them to each other to find the perfect match. Things to think about:
- The Philosophy – what is the camp all about, what does it focus on?
- The schedule – are kids allowed to choose some of their activities or is it a rigid schedule. Which environment works best for your child?
- The staff – find out as much as you can on the staff.
- The facility itself – is the camp well maintained or falling apart – you can tell a lot about the camp just from looking around it.
- Do a background check. Don’t feel silly at all, it is best to know everything and do a full search on the camp before attending.
- Know your child. Be honest about your child’s character. Find a camp that offers activities that your child naturally likes to do. Whether it be a sports camp, an art camp or an science camp, there are all kinds of day and overnight camps that offer exactly what would make your child smile.
- Start with day camp and work your way up to overnight. Many kids are not ready for overnight camp right away. Not to worry, sign them up for day camps for a few summers so they can get in the groove of things and see how much fun summer camp really is and when they are ready, look for that just right overnight summer camp!
If you need a little help looking, check out MySummerCamps.com which includes reviews and options on hundreds of summer camps. You can also check out the American Camp Association site to see if your camp has been accredited or not at AcaCamps.org.
I had many great summers at overnight summer camp. It is an experience I cant wait for my children to have, when they are ready. Until then, I love hearing their stories come home on all of the fun things they do at their day summer camp here in Malibu.
Summers are so special.
Cheers and happy camping!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx