So you’re thinking about sending your child to summer camp. Terrific! We know that it’s a milestone in your child’s development and an incredibly important family decision. There are so many options from which you can choose but perhaps the most important thing to keep top of mind is that with all these choices there is most definitely a camp for every child.
To help make your decision-making just a bit easier we recommend that you take the following into consideration when evaluating your options:
• The very first thing to remember is that not every camp is right for every child. Your friends and relatives might possibly be making lots of suggestions based on their own camp experiences or those of their children. Recommendations are great but you need to make your decision based upon the unique personality, needs and wants of YOUR child and they just might not correspond to the camp/s that are being recommended by your friends and relatives.
• Investigate the camp’s philosophy about key issues such as communication, discipline, problem solving and more. You need to understand and agree with how the camp handles key issues and an in-depth conversation with the camp director should provide you with all of the information that you want and need.
• Think carefully about your child’s interests. Are they so very passionate about a specific activity that it might be best to send them to a camp that specializes in their passion or would a “traditional” camp that provides a plethora of options suit their needs perfectly. It’s important to consider whether or not a full immersion into their specific interest will turn tiresome after a few weeks. Make certain that you communicate with your child about this concern.
• And while we’re on it, INVOLVE YOUR CHILD. This is a decision that should be made in tandem with him or her. This will be their camp experience and it is critical to get their buy-in through every step of the process.
• Lots of decisions! Co-ed or same sex? Small or large? Rustic or not? Close to home or far? These are very personal decisions that can truly impact your child’s experience. There are pros and cons to each choice but once again, you need to consider the philosophy of your family and the preferences of your son or daughter.
• Consider the expense. Summer camp can be costly and it is important to determine what you can afford to spend before starting to look at camps. There are camps in every price range and it is best to have a good understanding of what you are willing to spend before your search begins.
Don’t make a rush decision. Take the time to evaluate carefully and visit the camps that you are considering. And, of course, Camp Connection is here to help you make the very best selection.
THE CAMP CONNECTION, a FREE Advisory service for summer programs for children 8 years old through completion of high school, has done on site visits to and referenced over 600 summer programs. With over 25 years experience in camp consulting, our job is to profile a family, and match up a group of camps that fulfill the family’s criteria such as length of stay, child’s interests, expense, etc.