If you went to summer camp while growing up, you already know how much fun it can be. It’s a time to meet new friends, learn new skills, and participate in all sorts of activities. And so, now that your child is old enough to go to camp themselves, it makes sense that you would want to enroll them into a program so that they can create some great memories too.
If this is your first time doing so and you’d like a few tips on how to go about choosing the kind that will be educational, enjoyable, and safe, here are five tips that can give you the confidence that your child will be at the best summer camp around.
Ask around. The great thing about the internet is that there is tons of information at your disposal. At the same time, all of the links and websites can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming. So, when it comes to seeking out the best summer day camp for your child, you should ask some of your family members, friends, co-workers and even some of your social media connections about where they have sent their children before. That way, you can get firsthand reviews without spending hours on your favorite search engine.
Decide what your specific expectations are. Each parent has their own set of expectations. That’s why it’s also a good idea to take out a moment to think about what you want your child to get out of the experience. Do you want them to become less shy? Do you want them to learn how to swim or ride a horse? Do you want them to get better at following instructions? Basically, by the time that the summer camp is over, in what areas would you like to see that your son or daughter has improved?
Think about if you’d like a “theme camp.” There are summer day camps that have themes. For instance, there are camps that center around a certain school subject like math, computers, or creative writing. There are camps that focus on music or art. There are even camps that are designed to assist in a particular health issue or disability. So, as you’re narrowing down which camp will be best for your child, a “theme camp” is another option to take into consideration.
Do some thorough research. Say that you live in Baltimore, Maryland and you’ve been hearing that the Padonia Park Club is a great day camp for kids. Before signing your child up for it, it’s a good idea to do some thorough research. Inquire about how the staff is selected, how many counselors are assigned to each child, how old the counselors are, how conflicts between children are handled, and what the daily schedule consists of – for starters. A reputable camp is going to be open to addressing any questions, comments, or concerns that you may have.
Ask if you can visit the camp first. It’s not uncommon for summer day camps to actually have an open house where you can go and personally visit the facility. Finding a camp that offers this option is another way to put your mind at ease before making your final selection. For more information on how to be a supportive summer day camp parent, visit Metro Kids and put “how to be a good camp parent” in the search field.