There are camps with activities as traditional as model rocketry and riflery and those that are nontraditional such as aviation, computers, language studies, golf, martial arts or community service. There are overnight summer camps with a focus on self-improvement, weight loss and grief counseling too. Selecting an overnight summer camp for your child, teen or other children deserves a great deal of consideration and attention to even the smallest details.
Planning early is important; you should be diligent in your efforts to visit camps during the peak season to make plans in advance of the upcoming camping year. The more artistically minded might want to consider arts and crafts, clowning, drama, photography, or dance to be important elements of having a well-rounded camp experience. Basically, if you can think of any subject area, there’s probably a camp that specializes in it.
Special needs camps try to meet the needs of a wide range of children with disabilities; these camps provide an outdoor summer camp experience along with a therapeutic environment. Generally camps are divided by gender – girls only, boys only, or co-ed and again by age group. Selecting the right camp that fits with your child or teen’s interests, special interests, needs, special needs and abilities is one of the first steps
Try to determine whether the camp director incorporates a similar philosophy to running the camp as you do in parenting your child or children. The best overnight summer sports camps do much more than try to improve a camper’s soccer, tennis, lacrosse, or wrestling skills – they help each child become a more skillful athlete, a more gracious competitor, a more committed team player and a more confident person. Is there a special topic (e.g. religion, sports, educational, performing arts, arts and crafts) that you want your child will gain ability and experience in?
Camp tuition can be expensive; similar to travel insurance, there are now insurance policies for families sending their children to overnight summer camp to cover a last minute cancellation, homesickness, any medical emergency and emergency evacuations. You child or teen could typically explore subjects new to them like marine science, photography, creative writing, community service, drama, magic, scuba diving, video production, comic book design, crime scene forensics, cooking, yoga, rappelling, etc. If you have more than one child do you think, they would benefit from attending the same summer camp together?
Visit the camp; you can view campers and counselors in their element, witness activities as they occur, and just get an overall feel for the camp – something that cannot be accurately experienced when the camp is closed. Children will get more individual attention and supervision with fewer campers per counselor. Non-profit camps often range anywhere from $1200 to $3000 for four weeks and $2500 to $5000 for eight weeks.
Although camp counselor jobs don’t usually pay very well, minimum wage or less, counselors receive free room and board; many take the job primarily for the camping experience. And most camp counselors are in their late teens or early twenties and are high school and college students on their summer break. There are many types of overnight summer camps with a focus on education that cater to students of differing ages and academic interests.
If you find a traditional overnight summer camp or sleep away camp that is not the right fit, or an expense that isn’t possible at this place in time, know that there are other options that can keep your child occupied throughout the summer. Look over and evaluate the fliers, brochures and promotional materials; read the fine print. If you think there’s a possibility you might have to cancel an overnight summer camp reservation, then camper’s insurance is a good idea. The summer is a key time to visit overnight summer camps or sleep-away camps because you can determine whether they’ll be the right fit for your child, children or family while the camp is in full operation.