Choosing a Camp for Summer Fun
Your child has just finished a long school year. They are tired and the prospect of a long summer break seems magical. But is that really the best option?
Summer camps have changed over the years. It’s not just a place for kids to go for child care. Camps now offer so many activities and ways to continue and build on what they learned during the school year.
Camp can be a way for kids to try new activities and skills they didn’t have time for during a busy school year. If your child has a passion for a particular activity or sport, camp gives them the opportunity to focus and build their skills in that area.
Kids spend all year learning in a structured classroom environment. Camp offers them a different way to learn in a more carefree setting. This freedom gives them a sense of independence and self confidence as they move around to different activities.
Because camps take kids from all locations, many times the campers are not attending the same local grade school. It gives kids a chance to meet new people. The people they meet in camp might turn up in their middle school or high school classes. Knowing these camp friends can help make the transition to a new grade and school easier.
As a parent there are several things to consider when choosing a camp.
You need to look at location and the camp hours. Is the camp located near your home or work and can you get them to there on time and for pick-up? Another option is to see if the camp offers extended care so you can drop off earlier or pick up later if needed.
Look at the camp costs and see if it fits your budget. If you have more than one child, are there discounts for multiple children in the family. Decide how many weeks are affordable for your kids. Can they attend for the entire summer or are you only looking at specific weeks. If you are planning any family trips then you want to make sure you aren’t paying for weeks where your child won’t be able to attend.
Not all camps are created equal. Some specialize in certain offerings. If your child is a math whiz and would love to spend their summer solving equations and puzzles then you know to look for camps with academic credentials.
Not all campers want to spend more time in a classroom. Parents need to look at how your child will spend their day. What activities are being offered and for how long.
For example if you want a general camp then your child will have a variety of activities during the day to choose from. This will let them try new things and explore activities they haven’t tried before.
Other camps offer focused programs in a particular sport or activity. Kids can spend their day playing sports or just on one sport such as basketball. These camps will keep them active all day and give them the chance to improve their skills in these sports.
Maybe you have a budding artist who wants to spend their day creating master pieces. Art camps can let kids explore different mediums for creativity. Their day could include painting, sculpture, ceramics or other building materials.
Dance camps keep your kids active while they learn new moves and steps with their friends. Some of these camps focus on specific areas of dance for kids who want to improve skills and others are a mix of music and dance forms just to have fun while learning new things.
Once you have chosen the camp that works for your family budget and location and you feel offers activities your kids would enjoy, talk to them about how they want to spend their summer.
Kids who are part of the decision process are more likely to be engaged and excited to go. Camps with a variety of activities let them mix and match how they spend their summer. It can give them access to new activities and a new group of friends with each camp session.
Summer camp is a chance for your kids to meet new people and try new things, start looking at camp options now.
The Rosen JCC Camp J will begin May 30th and run till August 4th. It offers General, Sports, Basketball, Art, Dance and Swim camp. To register or learn more visit www.rosenjcc.org/campj.