How to find the right fit for summer camp


Many adults fondly recall their days at summer camp. The increase in households with two working parents has made it more important than ever to find a camp to accommodate youngsters who need to remain engaged and entertained throughout summer vacation. There are plenty of options, but it’s not always easy to find one that’s the right fit for a child.

No two children are the same, and kids change quite a bit as they grow up. A camp that worked for an older child or even one that accommodated a younger camper may not make the perfect fit this summer. With that in mind, parents can consider these tips to find the right summer camp for their children.

  • Ask around. Even if no two campers are the same, it can benefit parents to ask around when shopping for a summer camp. Spots are limited, and it’s not uncommon for competition for available spaces to develop, which can make it more difficult to gather information. However, ask neighbors whose children have outgrown summer camp if there’s one they might recommend (or wouldn’t recommend).
  • Pursue a package deal. Though package deals might not result in lower rates, approaching a camp with the parents of your child’s friends may work in your favor. Kids undoubtedly will be more excited about camp if their friends will be there as well. Camp officials may see these package deals as a quick and easy way to fill spots.
  • Ask kids how they want to spend the summer. Specialized camps run the gamut from sports camps focusing on a particular sport to camps that cater to young musicians. More general camps offer a wide range of activities throughout the summer, and those might appeal to children who are less interested in specialized camps. Ask youngsters for their input before making a final decision. Involve kids in the search by showing them websites of prospective camps and asking them what they think of each one. If attending an in-person consultation, bring kids along so they can form their own impressions.
  • Make sure the camp suits your schedule. Kids’ preferences are not the only opinions to consider. In households with two working parents, moms and dads must find a camp that aligns with their work schedules. Many camps offer half-day and full-day sessions, but some offer just one or the other. If parents need full-day sessions, they might need to begin their search early to ensure they can secure a spot before the camp fills up.
  • Identify what you can afford. Camp costs vary significantly, so parents should identify how much they can spend before they begin their search. Doing so may eliminate various camps right off the bat, saving parents precious time. Many towns offer local camps at schools, and these may be affordable options. Parents should also know that many camps allow them to pick certain weeks or days of the week a child will attend rather than insisting kids attend the camp for the duration of the summer.


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