Summer Camp A Kids Dilemma or Who Gets to Choose

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It's Right Around the Corner

Summers right around the corner and if summer camp is on the menu you better decide if the children get to choose and start working on the dilemmas before it's to late. Camps fill up quickly and there's some checking up to do before you get in over your head.

Let’s face it summer camp can be a blast for all concerned.  It gives us all a break from soccer practice, what happened at school today, report cards, teacher conferences, lunch money, school clothes, supplies, what’s for dinner, curfews, need I go on.  The funny part of it is the kids get a break from all the above the same way we do, except they don’t have to deal with the come straight home from school, your not wearing that, why do I have a teachers conference, you got a D in math what’s wrong with you, be home by ten o’clock sharp, where have you been, etc. So having what I’ll call a separate vacation, can really be a blessing.

But then, (why is there always a but when it sounds so sweet) how do you choose. Should they choose, and we just check the place out? Are they old enough to choose? Should it be somewhere they can learn something or just somewhere they can have fun?  The dilemmas are numerous, yet all are important details that need to be addressed.

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Who Gets To Choose


The reality is you know your going to have the last word when it comes to the actual decision here, so why not give them a couple of options. They’ll know that you care about their opinion , which will make everybody feel good.

There are four things you need to figure out before you even start looking.

1) The amount of money you are going to spend. This is imperative so you know what your budget is and don’t start looking at the Tiffanys with a tin can budget. Definitely don’t let them get their heart set on something you know is not going to happen, it will just lead to disappointment on so many levels.

2) What is the time allotment allowed, part of which may be related to the budget. There are day camps, weekly camps, monthly camps, etc. Shoot there is even some where you can get rid of them for the whole summer! (just kidding hmmmm)

3) How far away from home are you willing to let them go. Warning if you have an 8 yr old who is just dying to go to camp with her best friend for a week and this is her first time, stop and think. Has she spent the night at a friends (grandma and grandpa don‘t count) overnight without you having to pick her up a 2am. If that’s the case I think you already know the answer. Maybe a few overnights before summer would work, it’s worth a shot.

4) Does the camp have room for them the dates you want them to go. Summer camps fill up fast, especially the good ones that have been around awhile. Some have kids who have been going their every summer for years and years and make the reservation the year before. So there is no sense in going through checking the place out if you can’t even get them in. This will also will remind you if you find one that you both love and they want to go back next year, go ahead and make the reservation and send the deposit in before the cut off date.

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And That's All Folks

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Now What Type of Camp

There are wilderness camps, art camps, drama camps, horseback riding camps, losing weight camps, religious oriented camps, outdoor sports camps, music camps, motivational camps, etc.  So here’s the thing I want you to think about, if you have a child that is overweight (like I was) and are self conscious about wearing bathing suits and shorts or they’re just not that great at outdoor sports, don’t send them somewhere all the activities are geared around them doing that.  I love kids but they can be cruel and leave emotional scars that are not soon forgotten

If they’re entire life revolves around art when not at school or doing chores, don’t send them to a horseback riding camp or somewhere you always wanted to go as a child.  Listen part of your vacation with them away will be less stressful if when they call home they’re having a blast and want to stay another week, opposed to crying and they want to come home.

 Find out what camps are in your budget and within the distance you’ve decided, check references and MAKE SURE THEY DO BACKGROUND CHECKS.  Go online and check for complaints, check with the BBB, and other agencies with the state.  If you have friends whose children have gone to the same camp for years and your children have a mutual interest then your job will be a lot easier.

Once you have done your homework and narrowed it down to  3 or 4 then have the kids look at what they have available and let them decide.  If you already know where they’re just dying to go and it’s in your budget, again parenting becomes a whole lot easier.

Well I’m sure I forgotten a few things that you’ll remember so good luck and I hope both of your vacations will be something you talk about for years.

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Comments 6 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Your ideas are very valid. I liked it when you used the looking at Tiffany's with a tin can budget example. Haha! I only went to camp one time in my life (girl scout camp) and had a miserable time because of catching poison ivy immediately...and I was highly allergic. That aside, I think all of the camp alternatives are great in this day and age. You listed some great examples. Rated useful and up!


Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Peggy that's to funny. I know I went to camp once myself it was fun but nothing spectacular. Of course then they didn't have many choices, they were mostly all the same. If I was young enough I'd go to the marine sea camp. Thanks again


peanutroaster profile image

peanutroaster 5 years ago from New England

Overweight - I don't know, might want to reconsider sending them to a camp where they can work off some extra pounds. Don't send an overweight kid to a computer programming camp. Choose a good camp where the staff is supportive and the campers have a good attitude. Kids seem less cruel these days then when I was growing up at least the ones I'm around.


Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Peanutroaster Thanks for dropping by and your comments. I just think overweight kids going to camp to take off some weight ought to be around their peers going through the same emotions and counselors trained to help them reach their goals. As far as kids being less cruel I think that depends where you are because I have friends with children in public schools and are now home schooled to do bulling, gangs, cutters, violence, goths, etc. Thanks again and have an incredible day.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Coming back to this hub again. This is a really BIG decision for parents to make with all of the considerations you mentioned, plus in this day and age, one needs to be assured that the adults working at the camp are also checked out (no criminal backgrounds, etc.) Lots of "homework" for the parents to do before letting their kids go on these adventures!

Some of the public schools are getting to be scary places! More and more kids seem to be home schooled these days if the parents are at all able to accomplish doing that. Quite an undertaking on their part!


Charlu profile image

Charlu 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Peggy and thanks for stopping back by. Criminal background checks are so important and a necessity this day and age.

It's funny you said something about home schooling because it seems like the more families I meet these days are doing just that. Sad that it is coming to a point where sometimes it is almost a necessity

Thanks for stopping by and as always your greatly appreciated comments

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