Summer camps are an enormously popular part of summer vacation across North America. For example, in Canada alone there are 1,023 recreational and vacation camps that employee 129,000 different staff members.
And the same trend can be seen repeated across the US. So, it’s only natural that you might be thinking of sending your children to a summer camp this year.
Who’s Going to the Camp?
It’s important that you know what sort of people your children are going to be mixing with. There are 8,400 overnight camps in the US today and they all attract a different type of camper.
Some camps bring together hundreds of kids from different states. Others are local only with around 50 kids.
You’ll find some camps where high fashion is the uniform of the day or they adopt a more traditional uniform. They all attract different families and you need to be aware of that.
What Type of Camp is Available?
The classic camp might have focused on survival skills and living out in the wilderness. These days things have changed. It’s all about themes.
Think about what your child would really like. Some of these camps involve theater, art, sports, and wilderness skills. Choosing the right type of camp is a very important decision.
First Time Campers or Lifelong Friendships?
Many parents believe that all campers are attending a new camp and are in the same boat. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Some camps are full of children who have been attending the same camp for years. Everyone knows each other and it can be difficult for more introverted children to integrate.
Asking about how many first-time campers there will be should be a big priority on your list during your research.
Are Children with Separation Anxiety Properly Supported?
Visiting a camp for the first time has the potential to create separation anxiety in some children. This can be crippling and instead of an enjoyable experience the camp could turn into a living nightmare that scars them forever.
This is where you need to do your research into the staff. Camps are becoming more aware of children who find it difficult to adjust, but not all camps are created equal.
What Do Past Campers Have to Say?
Camps can say a lot of things. Remember, they’re ultimately a business and they’ll market themselves like any other business.
So, to get a real insight into how a camp operates, you should talk to the parents of older campers who have been attending the same camp for years.
You’re not looking for a camp with no bullying, no illnesses, and no tears. You’re looking for a camp that knows how to handle these bumps in the road properly.
Last Word – Finding the Right Camp for You
Kids tend to start summer camps at the age of eight. But you should already be researching camps the summer before. This will give you all the time you need to come to the right decision.
Have you started looking at summer camps yet?