Picking the Best Summer Camp

With the boundless options for youth camps, how do you pick the best one for your little one? This is such a loaded question, it’s best to step back and ask some preliminary questions.

Each of these questions leads us down a path of more questions. This endless path reminds me of the white rabbit in Alice In Wonderland, but I promise, you’ll find the answer! Let’s start with some basic questions to ask yourself.

What type of camp experience am I looking for? Sports, hiking, art camp, drama camp, technology camp, etc.
Do I want an education camp, a feel-good fun camp, or both?
Day camp or Overnight residental camp? Day camps allow campers to be away from home for multiple hours during the day. Overnight camps last a couple days to a couple weeks.
How far away am I willing to travel for camp? For day camps, most parents will travel up to 30 minutes away. For overnight camps, it’s much further.

After you’ve answered these questions, you should have an idea of what type of camp to look for. From here, you may have multiple options for camp and want to narrow it down. Ask these questions to the camp director of each camp to help you.

How long has this camp been around? While new camps are popping up everywhere, it’s ok to be new, as long as camps run smoothly.
Does your camp have parent testimonials? Parents usually rave about good camps and say little about bad camps. If a camp doesn’t have parent testimonials, ask why.
If your child has special needs (asthma, autism, ADHD, physical limitations, gifted), what experiences does the camp staff have with similar campers?
How much does camp cost? Fees for camp range from a donation (vacation bible school) to $200 (sports camps, etc) to $400 (technology camps) to $600 (horse-riding camps) and even higher. Pick what’s right for your budget.

Camps provide children with an opportunity to build social relationships and develop special interests in a fun surrounding. Camp is a special time that sticks with you forever, it’s a vacation that’s sometimes close to home. Picking the right camp helps your child feel comfortable for the next camp they go to. Each camp builds on the previous. Each camp develops your child further.