Advertisement

Choosing the Right Camp


By Maeve Thompson

 

Camps are about learning as much as they’re about fun. Through hands-on experiences, unique challenges, and cooperative tasks with newly-made friends, those stories about camp will resonate for a lifetime. So picking the right camp is critical. Knowing a few very important questions ahead of time and following these tips for choosing the right camp will ensure you match a child’s interests to the right camp. 

Is your child ready?

This may seem like a simple question, but it is a key one. Before investigating camps, make sure your child is ready to attend. Transitions are usually easy with school aged children in day camps, but overnight camps require more maturity and independence that differ with a child’s development. Children who do well at sleepovers or have been on family weekend camping trips are more likely to transition easier when away from home. You might also ask if a camp offers a one or two night trial sleepover before committing to a longer-term overnight camp. However, if you’re a helicopter parent who’s the one that’s nervous about an overnight stay, either accept the fact that camp is about the child and not you, or don’t look into overnight camps in the first place.

What are your child’s interests?

Involve your child.

General camps offer a variety of activities that range from outdoor sports to craft activities. However, if your child dreams he’s a Rembrandt, yearns to win the Olympic canoe racing event, or finds telescopes and outer space his mission in life, there are plenty of specialty camps that match a specific focus with the child’s interests. Special needs camps are also a primary consideration. After plugging into your child’s interests, you can decide if day or residential camps are right for your child.

Get started early, and do your research.

Some camps fill up quickly, so don’t wait until school’s almost out to decide camp is a good idea. Some camps even start accepting registrations a year ahead. Once you’ve answered some basic questions with your child about what kind of camp you’re looking for, talk to the camp advisors and schedule a conversation with the camp director. Have a list of questions that you consider critical factors to help you ask the right questions. Once you’ve narrowed down the field of camps, ask them to send you an information package. Also, be sure and visit their websites to learn more about them, view pictures and videos, and read comments from other parents or children about their experiences. If a camp has a Facebook page, this can tell you a lot about its participants and atmosphere. Sign up for emails and ask for any information about the schedules of the camps or special event notices. Read the fine print concerning prices, cancellation policies, and regulations. 

Make the choice with the child.

Whether your child is fifteen or five, let him know he’s had a choice in the type of camp that you choose together. Help build the excitement of camp by pointing out the fun and exciting adventures that await. Camp is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and your initial legwork and follow-up actions make it stress-free for all.

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

05 Aug 2016


Recent Articles more articles

Raising Readers One Book at a Time

A recent Baby Center email for my seven year old (yes, I still open them to read about her development!) had the headline, “How to Encourage Reading.” I laughed and read along, knowing the advice doesn’t apply to me just now.

Kalyee Freiberger

Kalyee Freiberger is known for her incredible volunteer work. The 18-year-old recent graduate from Runnels High School received the 2018 Outstanding High School Volunteer Award at last year’s Greater Baton Rouge State Fair.

Packing Made Easy with Jami & Katrina

It’s June already, and if you’re like us, you’re counting down the seconds until you can have your toes in the sand on the beach with your family. But before you can get there, you have to pack, and after packing up your kiddos’ clothes, you will mos

Suit Up, Mama!

You’ll never consider my body bikini-ready or beach-worthy. I’ve never had six-pack abs or been a small person, even in my younger, pre-kid days. I have a soft, squishy tummy; big, strong thighs; big everything.

Featured Listings more listings

Twin Lakes Camp

Since 1970, Twin Lakes has provided families with a summer camp program nestled in the rolling hills and piney woods of central Mississippi. With day camp for ages 5-8, overnight camps for ages 6-12, the L.I.T. program for teens age 13-15, and more.

Parkview Baptist School

Parkview Baptist School

Parkview Baptist provides an education with an eternal foundation.

St. Alphonsus Catholic School

The Mission of St. Alphonsus Catholic School is to provide a faith-filled education which promotes academic excellence for each student.

Kids' Orchestra

Each week-long camp includes music lessons, special field trips, activities and a special performance opportunity for friends and family on Friday afternoon.

Advertisement
Newsletter