Summer Camp Fun
As parents we are responsible for making sure that our kids have great experiences. During the school year the school teachers enrich their lives through mental stimulation and activities. The issue for many parents is the summer time. The children are out of school and have all of heir days free. The issue is that most parents do not have the time off from work and must be out of the home for the majority of the day. The greatest way to combat your children being left alone to be babied by the television and the video games is to send them to summer camp. Summer camps are a good thing for the children and the parents alike. The parents are able to go to work without having to worry about their children being stuck at home getting dumber by the minute and children do not have to worry about being bored to tears and watching the same talk shows every day.
There are all types of children in the world. Some children enjoy sports and others enjoy crafts and others enjoy totally different things. The summer camps that are available to choose from are just as diverse as the children that attend them. For the kids that love sports there are sports specialty summer camps. When I was a child one of the camps that I went to was soccer camp. I spent the whole day everyday playing the game that I loved. My brother on the other hand loved hockey so when summer camp time rolled around he went to a hockey camp. My other brother loved music and playing instruments. Every year he attended a musical camp. We are just one example of how summer camps can bend to fit all types of children in all walks of life.
Summer camps teach children some very valuable skills in addition to the sports and the like. Children learn to adapt to an environment that is unusual for them. They are used to their teachers and the fellow students that they have grown up with and they are familiar with the rules they deal with day in and day out. Going to a summer camp with new adults and new kids allows them to see how the world changes and how they must adjust their behavior and line of thinking to fit it to their new surroundings.
Summer camp is a valuable experience on many accounts. If you are a parent and are considering letting you child stay home and do nothing over the summer consider letting them know about summer camp. You may find that your child is ready and willing to learn and experience new things at the summer camp of their choice.
Summer Camp Programs
Summer Camp Programs are perhaps the best way for students to spend their summer holidays. Summer camp programs include ordinary sports and educational camp programs to adventure tripping camps for teens, youth, and youth groups. Some of the main summer camp programs offered include ice hockey, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, basketball camp, rafting, field hockey, cross country running, rock climbing, football, fencing, golf, sailing, tennis, lacrosse, softball, swimming, soccer, mountain biking, wrestling, and windsurfing.
There are mainly three types of summer camp programs – day camps, residential camps, and travel programs. Day camp programs are offered for children from all age groups. Residential camps are mostly offered for children in the age group of 8 to 16. Travel camps are generally limited to children 14 to 18 years old. Sleep-away camp programs are offered throughout the United States and worldwide.
There are several organizations that solely deal with summer camp programs. But selecting an ideal summer camp program from these organizations will be a difficult task. In the case of parents selecting a summer camp program for the child, it is better to ask him or her which camp program he/she would like to join. Once the child states a preference, one can search a camp directory to know about the various camps organized, by specialty and location. The Internet is a great resource for information in this regard. The American Camping Association (ACA) accredits camps that feature all the necessary requirements. Selecting an ideal summer camp program which offers outstanding coaching by motivated trainers and energetic directors will help children increase their potential in a particular area, acquire better study habits and achieve their goals.
Summer Camp for Children
There are so many things for children to do during their summer break from school. The best thing that a parent can do for their children is allow them to attend a summer camp for children to fill their free time during the summer. Summer camps for children allow the kids that attend the opportunity to experience so many things that they would normally not be able to experience. A lot of the activities that the campers get to take part in at a summer camp for children are out of reach during their normal daily life. I for one loved to go water skiing when I attended a summer camp for children but my family was not into boating or skiing so my love for the sport is something that I owe to the summer camp for children that I went to. Horseback riding was another activity that was out of my reach in my normal life but when the summer time came I could ride a horse every day and learn what it takes to maintain a horse. I feel that it was an amazing introduction to the world of equestrian sports, one that I would have missed out on if it was not for summer camp specifically for children.
If you are looking into summer camp for your children be sure to get them involved in the choosing of their activities. Make sure that the summer camp counselors are skilled and trained in their fields so that we can ensure the safety of your children. Once the safety concerns are covered you can allow your children to test out their wild side and try some things that will get their blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. If children are in the controlled environment of a summer camp for children the chance of them getting hurt trying new and exciting activities is smaller than if they are prevented form trying these types of activities in an organized fashion and they attempt them themselves.
I have had the opportunity to talk with many campers and camp counselors about summer camp for children, in addition to the parents of the campers attending various summer camps for children. The campers found a sense of achievement when they accomplished things that they would not normally have the chance to do like climbs rocks and paddle a canoe. T sense of pride comes over a child when they do these types of things. The summer camp counselors said that the children attending the summer camp grew as people more each day and developed a sense of achievement and independence that can only be gained by trying new things and .
Child Summer Camp Considerations
If you have a child summer camp may be something that you are considering. Whether you went to summer camp as a child or not, you recognize that this can be a great opportunity for your child to make new friends and learn new skills and interests. Don’t limit your choices to the traditional child summer camp; you have a wide number of alternatives that you may find even more attractive. But, before you make any decision there are several things that you should think about. You will need to think about the age and maturity level of your child, what their interests and goals are, and what you can afford to spend for camp. Above all, child summer camp should be something that is a positive learning experience for your child.
If your child is younger than 9, you will probably want to consider a day child summer camp rather than a sleep away camp. If you feel like they are mature enough to sleep away, one to three nights should be the maximum. Once they are ready to go to a sleep away camp, you can have a trial run at a friend’s or relative’s home for the weekend before they go to child summer camp.
Many cities, churches, and even some child care centers offer child summer camp opportunities for day campers of all ages. They may run for a week or a few weeks. Some offer general interest activities such as bowling, swimming or movies, while others are more specialized with sports, music, art, or computers. Sleep away camps offer many of the same types of choices for child summer camp, but you can also find scout camps, film making camps, and even weight loss camps. The possibilities are nearly endless, and you can get a lot of ideas if you look online.
The cost of attending summer camp is a huge consideration for most families. Day camps are usually cheaper. You can find out if the camp offers any ability or need-based scholarship opportunities for participants who qualify. But camps can cost anywhere from less than one hundred dollars, to thousands of dollars depending on the camp.
Make sure that you ask a lot of questions about the camp. Ask to see a schedule, and find out about staff training and group sizes.
Making the Summer Camp Decision for Your Child
The thought of ‘summer camp’ can evoke strong emotions on the part of parents and children alike. These emotions run the spectrum from excitement and fun to fear and anxiety. Camp isn’t for everyone—child or parent. In many social circles it is a status symbol or a family tradition. Neither of these reasons are the appropriate reason for sending your child to camp. The correct reason for providing the ‘camp experience’ is if it is ‘in the best interest of the child.’
Deciding to camp or not to camp—In the best interest of the child is all well and good, but how does a parent determine what is ‘in the best interest of the child?’ Some questions parents can ask are:
- Is the camp being used to solve a child care problem?
- Is this an opportunity for my child to learn, grow and experience life in a unique way?
- Is my child adventuresome—a risk taker?
- Does my child enjoy new experiences; is s/he ready to do new things when, or even before I am ready to provide them?
- Has my child enjoyed overnight experiences with family or friends?
- Does my child have friends and/or cousins who attend camp?
- Will camp provide opportunities for my child to enjoy favorite activities?
If you answered ‘yes’ to questions two through seven you have it made. If you answered ‘yes’ to question one only, the odds of success are slim. If you answered ‘yes’ to at least four of questions two through seven, the odds are optimal for a successful camp experience.
Selecting the right camp—the ‘right’ camp is the one that supports the interests of your child. Select three or four camps that have activities that interest your child. Visit these camps without your child to determine if they meet your specifications. Some important issues are: the ratio of camper to counselors, the training and experience of the counselors, medical facilities (especially if your child has on-going medical needs). Check food, diet and menus. Are there choices of activities? Ask for references.
After you have narrowed it down to two or three camps, take your child to visit and allow him/her to choose which camp s/he likes best. Allowing your child to choose is crucial for success. You do not have to decide quickly. Indeed, beware of the camp management which wants a decision quickly.
If your child is reluctant to commit to a camp, gentle encouragement is usually the key in dealing with a reluctant camper. This is probably not the first time your child was reluctant to do something new. What is s/he concerned about? Listen, but do not tell your child that it will be okay or that you can protect him/her—because you won’t be there and that may be the core of the concern. Acknowledge the concern or fear as valid. Children usually have a solution to their own problems. Through careful questioning, allow your child to find the answers. Talk about a similar experience and how it was solved, and the possibility that the new situation could be solved in the same manner.
Your child wants to camp, but you may have concerns. Be careful not to convey your concerns. Avoid phrases like: “Don’t worry about…” Call the camp and state your concerns and rely on your reaction to their response. However, having done your investigation earlier, you really would have only minor doubts.
There remains the possibility that your child did not have a good experience last year and therefore does not want to attend this year; or, positive experience notwithstanding, your child is reluctant. Start at the beginning as if it were the first time. Ask yourself the seven questions, research camps, visit, select and gently encourage. Sometimes parents need to make an executive decision. In the vest interest of the child you may need to make an empathetic, supportive, but not popular decision. After a second negative experience in a different camp, consider, however your child just may not be a camp enthusiast.
One last consideration—your child may voice reluctance to go, or complain about the food, activities, etc., because s/he is afraid that showing eagerness to go and/or ‘having a ball’ will make the parents feel rejected. Reassure your child that you will miss him/her, but remind your child, “I am glad you have a good time at camp.’ More often than not you will have a happy camper.
Teen Summer Camps
When choosing the type of summer camps to send your children to be sure that you pay close attention to the age of the child. If they are young make sure to send them to a summer camp that is age appropriate. There is no more important age to pay attention to this than when the child is a teenager. There are summer camps that are specifically geared towards teen age children. The teen summer camps are set up differently than the other types of summer camps. Why you may ask? Well teen summer camps focus on things that are important to teens like growing up and learning about real life and gaining a sense of independence.
The teen age kids want to experience being out on their own and being an adult but appreciate the safe and controlled environment that teen summer camps offer. This is also a plus for the parents. Many teens that attend teen summer camps find that they are not as grown up as they thought they were. The teens sometimes experience trouble being away from home though that is all they talk about doing when they are home. The teen summer camps also take the child from their normal environment and force them to adapt and adjust to a new place that is highly different than what they are used to. The summer camps for teens also force the children to meet new types of people from walks of life they have never thought of. This allows the teen child to learn about different cultures and see that there is more to life than what they know from home.
Teen summer camps can allow teens to do things that their family does not normally do with them and in some cases cannot afford to let them try. Water skiing and horseback riding are two of the top activities that they do at teen summer camps that most children are not exposed to due to the specialized and expensive equipment needed. These also tend to be the teenagers favorite activities to do at teen summer camps around the world.
When considering what summer camp to send your teen to be sure to look into the teen summer camps in your area. Bring the teen into the decision and let them assist in the decision. They will not only enjoy the chance to pick their own summer camp but will appreciate you treating them as more of an adult which is the point of the teen summer camps anyway. Nothing is worse than a teenage child that feels like a baby because you refused to send them to a teen summer camp but instead sent them to a regular summer camp where they are truly treated as a child instead of the young adult they are.
Summer Camp for Any Age
Whether your child is still in preschool, or if they are in their high school years, you can find a summer camp which will fit their needs and provide them with a summer filled with good memories. If you went to summer camp as a child, you may or may not have fond memories of your time there. But you will find that today, there are many more camp choices for your children-not only with the activities that the summer camp offers, but also the length and age of the participants.
The first thing that you should really think about when choosing a camp for your child is the age and maturity level of your child. Most children that are younger than 9 years old are not old enough for a sleep-away camp yet. They may be able to handle one or two nights away, but longer than that could be difficult. After age nine, the summer camp length can gradually increase to anywhere from a week to a few weeks. In order to prepare your child for their first experience sleeping away from home at summer camp, you may want to have them spend a night or two with a close friend or relative.
The next thing that you will need to decide is what type of camp. You may be in an area which offers a summer camp program through the city and school district which offer a wide selection of activities. You may also be able to find music, drama, sports, or computer camps that are only day camps. A sleep away camp may have a focus on anything from horsemanship, to surfboarding, to weight loss. You can find a lot of information about different camps by looking on the internet.
Before your child attends any camp you will need to do some very intensive questioning and research. You should find out what a daily schedule looks like, how free time is spent, what the menu is, and what the ratio of staff to campers is. You will also need to find out what kind of medical training and facilities the camp offers and what the emergency notification procedures are. Ask how you will be able to contact your child. You may even want to find someone who has had a child at that particular camp and ask them questions. Give your child a lifetime of memories from camp.
Summer Camp Jobs
Teenagers and young adults can benefit in more ways than one if they take one of the many summer camp jobs available to them. It is a great way to earn some money for college and it also can give them some valuable skills and knowledge which will prepare them for the future. One of the best things about summer camp jobs is that there are wide varieties to choose from. A lot of these types of jobs really cater to the young adult and teenager market. If you are considering getting a job at a summer camp, you should think about where you want to work, what type of skills and abilities you have, and how to go about the job search and interview process for summer camp jobs.
The first thing that you should do is to think about where you went to summer camp. If you went to summer camp, this may be the first place that you should look for summer camp jobs. Not only are you familiar with the camp and the routines, but you may also know some of the people in the camp leadership who do the hiring and if you had a good reputation there, they will be more likely to hire you for summer camp jobs.
Next, think about any specialized skills or knowledge that you have. If you are good at art, sports or music, find a camp that offers these types of summer camp jobs. There are camps which offer drama programs, computer courses, horsemanship courses, and so on and so on. If you are a lifeguard or even a cook there may be other types of summer camp jobs besides counselor that you could do. If you have worked as a camp counselor before you may even be able to apply for a leadership job.
Once you have narrowed down your choices of where you would like to spend your summer, you can start applying at summer camps. This should probably be done many months before the summer so that you can get a head start and also get any additional training you may be required to have. Ask lots of questions in the interview about what your responsibilities will be and show that you are willing and able to do the job you are applying for.
Summer Camp Care Packages
Every summer our daughter goes to summer camp. She looks forward to it every year. I can’t believe next summer will be her last opportunity to go to camp before she goes off to college.
Our daughter started going to summer camp when she was in middle school and has gone every year since. She finally graduated from camper and kitchen help to camp counselor this year. Every year I send her a care package with candy and other treats and she always looks forward to receiving it.
Our daughter just returned from spending two weeks on a ministry trip to Honduras, was home for one day, and then is going off to church camp for a week. I knew we wouldn’t have much time to talk between trips, so I decided to write letters to her to send to her at camp.
I wrote to her about some of my day-to-day activities and about what she was missing in the news. I wrote about Hurricane Dennis and how worried I was for her so far away from home. I told her she was always in my prayers and how much I missed her.
Just in the two weeks she was gone she missed her baby brother’s hair falling out and her brothers’ first colds. I knew she missed her baby brothers very much and missed their baby hugs and kisses. I told her about what they were doing and that they missed her too.
Because we like to spend a lot of time talking about our spiritual lives, I shared with her what I had been learning in my daily devotions and shared what my prayers were for her.
I wrote three letters to my daughter to open on different days and included pictures of her brothers that she likes to carry around with her wherever she goes. I packaged up the letters with some candy and sent her care package off to her today.
If you decide to write to your child at camp, here are a few tips:
- If your children are young and this is their first time away from home, make sure to send several letters to let them know you’re thinking about them and that you miss them.
- Have other family members write to your child also. Kids love to receive mail.
- If you have a child who would be embarrassed by letters from home, just send a care package with some of their favorite candy or other small items. One year I sent my daughter a pair of Sponge Bob boxer briefs, and they were the hit of the camp.
- Be creative with your packing. You can use a 2-liter pop bottle as a mailing container. Cut a slit in the side to place items in it and then tape over the slit. The kids will get a kick out of seeing what’s in the bottle.
- Depending on how long it takes the mail to get to the camp or how long your child will be gone, you may have to mail the package the day your child leaves, or even before they leave.
- If you know any of the other kids at camp, like your child’s closest friends, don’t be afraid to send them a note or treat too. I often send thinking-of-you cards to some of my daughter’s friends, and I know they love receiving mail from people other than their parents.
In this day and age, letter writing is becoming a dying art. If my daughter keeps the letters I wrote her someday they will be a special keepsake for her, capturing an exciting time in her life.
We don’t always take the time to do little things for our kids or tell them how we feel about them. Writing to them at camp is a great way to keep in touch with them while also sending them a welcome treat.
Kids Summer Camp – 6 Hot Tips for Parents
Selecting the right kids summer camp can seem like an impossible task with so many options and alternatives available. For parents new to ‘camp life’ in need of some help we’ve compiled 6 hot tips for parents in selecting the summer camp that best suits your child.
There are now close to 9 000 kids summer camps operating in the USA and Canada and more internationally, giving a huge choice in terms of length of stay, program and location. If you have a child with special needs, whether they be ophysical, intellectual or health related, there are a great range of options still open to you. Basically whatever pirsuit, activity or endeavour your child might have, it will be covered by one of the kids summer camp programs available.
1. Type of Camp
The choice exists between a day camp, overnight camp and residential camp. Allow your child to participate in this decision as he/she will be the best person to indicate which style of camp they are comfortable with.
2. Location and Size
Once you have determined which style of camp suits your child at this time, you need to decide how far you are willing to travel. Day campers need to be picked up at the end of each day, and an overnight stay is just that. Residential camps on the otherhand can entertain your kids for qweeks at a time so distance may be less of an issue.
3. Accreditation and Staff
There are varied bodies which accredit summer camps, the ACA (American Camping Association) being the largest and best recognised. A large percentage of camps are not accredited, but this does not for a moment mean that they aren’t great camps. If camps are not on the ACA list then you will need to ask each individuaul camp how they maintain and improve their program each year.
Staffing is linked to accreditation in how a camp selects, trains and pays their staff. Be sure you are happy with the procedures your chosen camp follows for staffing, if you have concerns query the management or go elsewhere.
4. Recommendation or Referral
Use recommendations from parents who you know whose children have visited a certain camp before. They can give an honest appraisal of the camp program. Alternatively, request references from your shortlist of camps to give you further information on the qualities of the camp and any shortcomings.
5. Your Budget
Choosing a particular camp in the end may come down to pricing and whether it fits into you budget. Just because a camp is more expensive does not mean it necessarily runs a better program. Certain camps are supplemented and thus are able to keep their fees lower. There are concessions or discounts sometimes made available for low income families.
6. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Review camp websites, brochures and DVDs and arrange a visit to the camp to really get a feel for it. If you have any last areas of concern then ask a staff member /coordinator in person when you visit.