Choosing the right summer camp for your kids

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Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about plans for the kids during their vacation from school. To fill those long summer days, summer camp can be a fun option with many benefits. Camp can be a great way for kids to make new friends, gain confidence and independence and spend time unplugged from electronics.

With literally hundreds of options available, choosing the right summer camp for your kids can be an overwhelming task. Day camp or overnight camp? General or specialty camp? Educational or just for fun? One week or all summer long?

Here are a few things to think about when choosing a camp experience for your child this summer.

  • Decide on a general camp or specialty camp. A general camp will provide lots of different activities where a specialty camp will focus on one particular interest such as dance, drama, art or sports. Is your child interested in pursuing one particular hobby or will he or she just enjoy a fun and active time with friends?
  • Check out the options. What camp options are local churches, businesses and organizations offering this summer that might be of interest to your child? Options may vary from summer to summer.
  • Set a budget. Camps come at a variety of prices. If you’re on a tight budget, an overnight camp may be out of reach, but there are many daytime options at an affordable price. Set a budget for the summer and stay within that budget when choosing camps for your child.
  • Ask for recommendations. Ask friends and family for recommendations of camps their children have attended and enjoyed.
  • Include your child. Once you’ve researched the available options, set a budget and sought the input of friends and family, talk with your child about what kind of camp he or she would like to attend this summer. Taking his or her preferences into account, present your child with a few options and allow him to choose a summer camp experience that he would most enjoy. Knowing your child’s personality, interests and needs can turn the big camp decision into a simple one.
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