There’s something so exciting about choosing a summer camp for your child. You have tons of options all across the country. And ultimately, that can prove a problem: how do you choose the right one for your child? After all, your kid is a unique individual, with specific interests and goals. With that in mind, picking the right summer camp can seem simply overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! With a little research and some patience, you can find the perfect summer camp for your kid. We’ve got the tips you need to choose the best summer camp for your child.
Know What You Want
Before anything, you need to decide what you want your child to gain from summer camp. Do you want them to come out of their shell and make new friends? Are you hoping they’ll gain a new skill or hobby? Do you want them to get some academic work done so they return to school confident and ready to take on anything? Once you’ve determined what you hope to get out of your summer camp, narrowing down the list will be much easier.
While your child is away, you want to know that they’ll be safe. So now’s the time to do some investigation. Look into the ratio of campers to counselors, and see if the numbers are to your liking. Remember, the lower the ratio the more attention and care your child is going to get. You should also find out if counselors come armed with knowledge of CPR and First-Aid. If you can, prioritize camps that are ACA accredited; that means the whole camp has been thoroughly vetted and must adhere to strict health and safety regulations.
The Perfect Program
Variety is the spice of life, and that counts double for summer camp. You don’t want your kid to feel bored halfway through their experience. The best way to avoid summer camp blues is by choosing a spot with a variety of programs. If there’s an assortment of different events and activities to choose from, your child will feel engaged and interested all summer long. And who knows? They might try something new and end up finding a lifelong passion.
Find a Balance
Sure you want your child to learn and grow over the summer, but they also want to have fun (it is their vacation, after all). When picking the right summer camp, make sure there’s a healthy balance between learning and play. You don’t want your child to return home burned out and frustrated, so look for camps that know the value of cutting loose and having fun. Make sure if they’re taking intensive summer programs like STEM that they’re also signing up for fun, creative classes that will let them relax and enjoy their time away.
Consider Their Needs
Not all kids benefit from the same things at summer camp. Some are ready for sleepaway camp, while others need to come home at the end of the day. Is your child more shy or social? Will they enjoy added responsibility, or end up overwhelmed? Really consider your child’s personality, and try to discuss any anxieties they might have about summer camp. By talking to your child and understanding exactly what they do and don’t want, you’ll be better equipped to pick a summer camp that makes you both happy.
Don’t Sweat the Summer
Ultimately, summer camp is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience. This should be a fun and exciting process for the whole family. Let your kid get involved (and make sure their voice is heard), and turn it into a fun experience. By weighing all these factors and being true to your child’s needs, you’ll set them up for an utterly amazing summer!