Summer Camps

Find the ideal camp experience to fit your child's needs and interests. 

By Lauren St. John 

 

Today’s summer camps offer much more than just s’mores and sing-alongs around a toasty campfire. They have become extremely specialized to suit every unique interest, need and strength, while still helping children develop pertinent skills and share lifelong memories with friends new and old. To ensure your house echoes with giggles and animated storytelling of an unforgettable camp experience, consider your child’s interests and hobbies so they can be best matched with a camp that they will enjoy and benefit from. While there are still plenty of traditional summer camps that offer a rustic, outdoor experience complete with sleeping bags, cookouts and a daily dose of Mother Nature, there are even more specialty options that focus on a particular activity like sports, learning and fine arts. With a seemingly endless list of alternatives, there is bound to be a camp that delves into your child’s passion, whether they are interested in something as specific as computer programming or as general as adventure. Taking into account the camp’s price, duration, location and policies and procedures will also help to hone in on the best choice for your child and family.

Spending time deciding whether your camper is ready to pack their bags and head off to a sleep-away camp, or if they would be ready to come home faster than they hugged you goodbye when they excitedly rushed out of the door is worth every monotonous minute. Many parents suggest starting with a day camp and slowly transitioning to an overnight camp to see how your child handles separation and new spaces. If staying the night at a friend or family member’s house is not problematic, bunking away from home is likely to be a possible option.

Most camps will provide a detailed packing list of exactly what to bring and what to leave at home. These checklists are especially handy when you find yourself in a last- minute packing panic. Electronics have recently been banned from many camps to offer a distraction-free getaway. While some items need to stay out of your child’s suitcase, don’t forget to pack enough clothing, toiletries and camp-specific items like dance shoes or sporting equipment.

Summer camps have become more personalized and engaging than ever before, and finding the perfect one that fits with your child’s personality and interests doesn’t have to be as terrifying as the spooky stories told around the campfire.