- Family and Parenting
Finding the Right Summer Camp for Your Child
Summer is a time for fun for kids. They need plenty of downtime to allow for creativity and natural learning. Something else that is great for kids is summer camp. There are summer camps for just about anything and can really benefit your child. There are plenty of day camps available but don't forget overnight camps as well. Kids can learn so much from summer camp, but how can you find the right one for your child?
There are several things to consider when looking for a summer camp. Think about what your child likes to do, what your child wants to learn to do, what areas your child needs extra help in, and what areas you want your child to learn more about. For instance, my son really wants to be on the middle school soccer team. He has played soccer off and on for years now, but could use some extra coaching and skills if he is to really excel and make the school team. We are looking for a soccer camp that would help him in this area.
Does your child want to try a totally new sport? Many sports camps cover the basics and help kids learn more than they ever could in a regular season. When it comes to sports children these days are starting them so much earlier than a few decades ago. If your child has never played a certain sport and wants to jump in when they are older a camp will help them learn the sport so they can make the most of the team later. A summer camp also allows them to try out a sport without a long term commitment. They can try it for one week as opposed to a two month season. If they like it great they will do that much better in the regular season, if they don't like it, they don't have to do it again.
Summer camps are about more than just sports. I remember taking a computer camp when I was little. In our recreation guide for my town there are foreign language camps, computer camps, space camps, science camps, music camps, wilderness survival camps, video game production camps, craft camps, drawing camps, chess camps, and more. There really does seem to be something for everyone.
Check with your local schools, library or recreation department to see what camps are going on in your area. Check with your church for available camps as well. Our church hosts Vacation Bible School and also sponsors kids to go to local church camps. These can be overnight or day camps. If there is something your child is already involved in and wants to learn more about then ask the leader of the group about local summer camps. There might not be one where you live, but there could be a great one nearby.
Everyone's definition of nearby is different. If you are thinking about overnight camps you will probably have to look farther than your own town. My daughter wanted to go to gymnastics camp this summer and we found a great one about 6 hours away. She could never get that experience nearer to us so it is worth it. When we lived in Colorado I had friends who sent all their kids across the country to Connecticut to a sea camp. If there isn't what you are looking for locally then branch out. You never know what you will find and it might end up being worth it to look in other cities or states.
Summer camp can really benefit your child. Finding the right one can be time consuming, but it is worth it. Talk to your child and get their input. They certainly need to be onboard with the idea of summer camp. Once you find the right one, then sit back and enjoy it. It will be a great experience for your child.