Suddenly, it hits you. You still haven’t decided a summer camp for your kid.
Choices are numerous: Ballet camp. Sports camp. Art camp. The YMCA. Boys and Girls Club. The Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. How is a parent to decide?
Here's how to set yourself AND your child up for success!
Know Your Child.
You might want your arts and crafts loving child to be more active this summer. If sports isn’t his/her thing, don’t choose a camp with a heavy emphasis on activity.
Instead, find one that offers some special art or creative experience AND provides opportunity for physical activity.
Sending a child to a camp, you think he or she should like, rather than one they will is bound to be a failure. Your child will be grumpy and you’ll hear a lot of complaining!
The dream camp may be out of your price range. Its schedule may not be convenient for your child care needs. There can be a number of reasons why the right camp for your child won’t be the right camp for you and that’s ok!
If you turn yourself into a pretzel and overextend yourself to get this child to camp, you’ll make yourself crazy.
If you stretch your budget, you’re bound to feel the pinch. In more ways than one.
What If my child has behavior issues?
Maybe it’s already been a tough school year and you’ve been called by the school more than once because of your child’s behavior.
Choosing a summer camp can be daunting. Here’s what to look for:
- A camp that offers your child his/her favorite activity
- A camp that has a schedule that is consistent day to day
- Preferably a camp with a low ratio of kids to staff
- A camp with a clear behavior management system
- A program that offers kids choices of what they’d like to do
- A program that runs long enough for your child to settle in and transition
To sleep away or not sleep away,
that is a good question!
Kids build skills and gain confidence in a variety of ways. Parents can get time to themselves or have 1:1 time with other siblings.
Some things to think about that will increase your family’s success with sleep away camp:
1. Is this child or parent driven? If it’s driven by your child, you can start the conversation by asking questions that will test his/her readiness. If it’s driven by you, you should be prepared for the same in addition to how you will introduce the idea to your child.
2. Visit the camp with your child and family BEFORE camp. This is standard for most sleepaways but if not, ask.
3. Know ahead of time what the rules for communication between family members are, including what technology is allowed.
4. Find out procedures if separation anxiety creeps in and the child needs to come home.
Decisions like this can be overwhelming. Still stuck? Check out my website. You might find your answer there or you can call me for some coaching and guidance.