Summer is an exciting time for the whole family in many regards. The kids are out of school, you can spend more time together, the weather is wonderful (depending on where you live, of course), and the possibilities for fun seem endless.
At the same time, summer can pose a challenge for parents seeking ways to satisfy their children’s endless energy and curiosity. That’s why many of them look to summer camps—a seemingly perfect solution for weeks or months of entertainment, ongoing education, and a chance for kids to form new friendships and discover new dreams.
But not all summer camps are created equal! Aside from finding a camp that appeals to your child’s unique interests (astronomy, soccer, business, etc.), it’s important to take the time to determine which one will provide the best investment for the immediate summer experience and their future. Here are a handful of questions you should consider when paring down your summer camp options:
- What does your child want to gain from camp? – Camps are increasingly specialized in the programs and focuses they offer. What are your child’s interests and passions? Will the camp feed their desire to learn and grow, or turn them off to a particular area?
- What will the camp expect from my child? – If your child goes to camp expecting a relaxing and entertainment-focused experience, but finds themselves in a highly demanding, rigorous study and competitive environment, it may be incredibly difficult for them to engage as much as they might if they went in with aligned expectations.
- Does the camp fit my budget (and what do we get for the cost)? – A simple matter of logistics. Does an all-day, all-week camp that costs a bit more upfront still offer higher value than a half-day camp that runs every other day—but actually costs more overall when you do an hourly breakdown?
- How much structure should the camp have? – Does your child like having a set schedule in order to feel productive? Do they prefer to be the captain of their own calendar? Depending on their mindset, a more flexible camp with multiple event and activity options might be a great option.
There are countless camps out there—but your child has unique and specific needs that may help you narrow down the options to just a select few. This way, you know they stand the best chance of having an incredible summer camp experience, while giving you a bit of breathing room.
What kind of summer camps does your child enjoy most? What sort of memories have you already established for years to come?