Every summer families bid a fond farewell to their kids and send them off to have summer camp adventures. Whether it is at an urban day camp like the one run by Santa Monica’s Fitness by the Sea or a summer long adventure in the woods of Maine, you can be sure that your kids will love the very idea of it. Despite the many long novels that tell us of the horrors of summer camps for kids, the bottom line is they are an amazing adventure most of us will treasure the rest of our lives.
But finding the kids summer camp that is just the right mix of discipline and fun for your kids is always the challenge. When you add that the range of organization varies so much from camp to camp that it is almost a crap shoot what you will find, some research is needed. Here are a few tips to help you find the best camps for your kids this summer and every summer.
Start with What You Know
If you have sent the kids to a camp nearby, how did it rate at the end of the experience? If the kids loved it, the counselors connected well and seemed experienced and the price was right, why not add them to the list for this year? Always begin with what you know and add more options from there. You may find something better, cheaper or closer to home. But for now, if it worked last year let’s consider it for some of this year.
Friends and Family Camp
If you are planning out the summer to see how much of it needs to be covered by summer day camps, consider first when you plan to take summer vacation. Add in if there are relatives such as grandparents who would like a week or two of a summer visitation.
Don’t forget friends of the family they can holiday with for a while. Once you have plugged in these dates on a calendar, you can then see what dates you still need to cover. It might not be quite as many days as you had first thought.
Location and Hours
For day camps this is truly important as you will be picking your kids up each day. If the camp is on your route to and from work, and runs at a time that allows you to drop them off in the morning and pick them up on your way home, you have a winner.
But if they finish at noon, do you have the time to pick your kids up at that time? If it is way out of the way for you, will you always have the time and patience to deal with the clock, work and traffic each day? These should all be considered when choosing that day camp.
Multiple Kid Camps
If you have two or three kids, is it possible for them to all attend the same summer camp together? Would it be a good fit for all of them? You may have one kid who wants a science camp and another who loves sports, making this almost impossible. But talk to them about it and see if there is some kind of compromise that can be made.