With summer approaching, many parents are thinking of enrolling their children in a summer program or a summer camp. They’re also thinking of finding the right summer program – one where their children can have fun, learn, and most importantly, be safe the entire summer. Finding the right summer program or camp can be difficult, but it’s worth the effort to make sure you find one just right for you and your child. So — how to find a good summer program or camp?
How to Find a Good Summer Program or Summer Camp
The key to finding a good summer program for your child is to factor in your child’s interests, personality, and age. Many summer camps and programs center around a single interest, like art, math, dance, or even drumming, whereas others – especially ones designed for very young children – include a diverse range of themes and learning experiences each day.
For older kids, a full-time summer camp can be great fun, and an excellent way to create lasting memories and foster independence – but many younger children are uncomfortable being away from their caregivers for that long, so a part-time summer program may be a better option. And if you’re looking for something much closer to home, there are even virtual summer programs your child can attend right from the living room! These are a great way for your child to have fun and keep learning over the summer if you are not able or comfortable to have them attend in-person events.
Tips On Finding a Good Summer Camp/Summer Program
It’s important to account for multiple different factors when selecting a summer program for your child. Use these questions to find the perfect summer program for your child:
- Does your child love the outdoors, or prefer indoors?
- Would they benefit from an away camp, or would they prefer a part-time camp experience?
- Do you need a long-term summer camp or just a few weeks at a time?
- Do you also need care for the hours where you and your partner are at work or do you have the flexibility to pick them up and drop them off at any time?
- What is your budget?
- Does your child want to attend alone or with a friend?
As we mentioned, there are many types of camps and programs available with many configurations, but whatever type of camp you choose, there are some key things it’s important to know to be sure it is a good fit for you and your family.
Here are the key things to look for in a summer camp/program:
- Do they offer genuine references and a good history? Is there an open house?
- Do they have a point person for you to communicate with before, during, and after camp?
- What is their rate of returning campers? A high rate of returning campers is a good sign for camps were returning year after year makes sense, but less important for a “one and done” camp-like theme camps (Space Camp, Art Camp, Code Camps, etc).
- What are the rules for how you can communicate with your child during camp? Since away camps are good for fostering independence, they need to create a balance between that independence and parents’ need to know their children are safe. They also try to balance the use of technology with camp goals and activities. You’ll want to know what those rules are to be sure it is a good fit.
- How are meals and/or snacks handled?
- Will they accommodate special needs?
Find the Right Summer Camp/Program For You
We hope that this blog has helped you feel more confident in your search for a summer camp or summer program for your child. We’re sure that whichever program you pick, your child will have a wonderful time and learn a lot! If you have more questions, call Kids Corner now — or check out our 2021 Calendar to see when kids will be returning to school.