How to Choose a Summer Camp

how to choose a summer camp

Summer camps are great learning and social experiences for children of all ages. They can have fun meeting new people while learning new skills and creating memories. When you want to find the best camp for kids, it’s essential to include your child in the process and properly research the options you see.

This guide will help you learn how to find a good summer camp for your child to ensure they have a fun summer.

How to Find the Right Camp for Your Child

Before you send your kid to a summer camp, you must determine what you want your child to gain from the experience. Do they want to develop new skills or hobbies? Do you want them to open up and make new friends? Many factors can impact your child’s experience, so finding the right summer camp depends on their preferences and needs. 

Here are some things to consider before settling on a summer camp your child will want to revisit year after year:

1. Set Camp Goals

Your child is the person attending summer camp, so it’s vital to include them in the camp decision process. Talk to them about the kind of experiences they want to have during summer and learn about their interests and goals. When you understand what your child wants, you can brainstorm about different camps your child could be interested in attending.

Work together to set summer camp goals to ensure your child attends a camp they’ll enjoy.

2. Decide on a Special Focus or Traditional Summer Camp

Once you better understand your child’s interests and goals for the summer, you can decide whether a special focus or traditional camp will be the best choice for them. Special focus camps can help children embrace their interests and better understand their favorite topics. More traditional summer camps can help children explore various interests because they let campers try new things every day.

If you know your kid prefers a camp that will enhance their skills or wants a variety of things to do, you can narrow down their summer camp choices.

3. Ask About Day or Sleep-Away Camp

In addition to the camp’s focus, you will also need to decide whether your child will attend a day camp or stay at a sleep-away camp. Day camps allow children to get out of the house each day to participate in new activities and return home before repeating the same process for the duration of camp. Sleep-away camps keep the kids on campus during the sessions. When kids sleep at a camp, they have more time to participate in different activities and learn to be independent. 

While deciding if a day or sleep-away camp is best for your child, you can always ask your kid which they would prefer to attend. Both options are wonderful opportunities. If you need resources on how to find the right sleep-away camp for your child, you can research the different options in your area to see what their programs are and how they manage bedtime routines. 

4. Research Potential Camps

Finding the right summer camp includes ensuring the staff and programs are suitable for your child’s needs. Read testimonials from previous campers, online summer camp reviews, and other information you can find about the camps you think would be a good fit. Your child will spend a reasonable amount of time at camp, so knowing it’s safe, employs reliable staff, and has age-appropriate programs can help reassure you that your child will be okay.

As you research the camps, you could also reach out to the camp directors and counselors to meet and conduct interviews. This step helps you experience the camp’s atmosphere, learn about the leadership team, and ask questions. 

5. Determine Whether the Camps Have Accreditation

While many camps run high-quality programs, camps with American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation officially meet industry-accepted and government-recognized standards. Camps with ACA accreditation have been thoroughly vetted and adhere to strict health and safety regulations to keep staff and campers safe. When programs receive accreditation, you know they exercise the best practices in their policies and procedures.

Enroll Your Child Today at Camp Horizons

Camp is a safe environment where your child can have fun, grow, and learn in numerous ways. At Camp Horizons, your child will embark on adventures every day as they make new friends and create unforgettable memories. We want to help children of all ages experience the outdoors, gain confidence and independence, try new things, and have fun. Camp Horizons is an ACA accredited, coed sleep-away camp for children ages 6 to 16.

Are you ready to give your child an enriching life opportunity for the summer? Fill out our online form to enroll your child in a program at Camp Horizons!

enroll your child today at Camp Horizons