Summer Camp A Kids Dilemma or Who Gets to Choose
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.
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.
And That's All Folks
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.