Camp programs are designed to
ensure every camper a unique learning experience. Each day features a
curriculum which combines varied activities and challenges, promising
your child nonstop fun and excitement.
Regardless of the age of your
child, the camp(s) that you select must meet the needs, interests,
goals, and expectations of both you and your child. As a parent
you must understand what your child wants and then find the camp that
will meet those expectations. Camp provides many opportunities for your
child. They will build confidence, explore new areas, engage in
learning activities, interact with a variety of people and most
important have fun.
Choosing a summer camp program for
your child involves some important research but before you can start you
must have the answers to some important questions:
- What are your child's
- What do you want to gain from
the camp experience? Are you looking to improve a skill, learn
something new, or become more independent and responsible?
- Are there any social or
physical disabilities that need to be addressed?
- What is your budget?
- What is the time frame needed
for camp? (daily, overnight, weekly, entire summer)
- Do you have a geographical
- Is the size of the camp
and/or number of campers and issue?
Some camps may emphasize one
activity while others will offer a wide array of programs. A
Specialty Camp is where a camper would devote a majority of his or her
time to one activity such as soccer, tennis or gymnastics. The
instructors at these camps are experts in the area.
Specialty Camps and
Your Child's Interest....
There are camps available for
everything that you can imagine. You simply need to narrow it down based
on your child's interests and needs.
Baseball, Basketball, Field Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer,
Softball, Volleyball, Roller Hockey, Ice Hockey, Archery, Fencing,
Fishing, Golf, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Wrestling, Track&Field,
Biking, Weight Training, Horseback Riding, Tennis, Figure Skating,
Aerobics, Yoga, Skateboarding, Biking, Karate, Chess
Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, Sailing, Scuba, Snorkeling, Swimming,
Waterskiing, Jet-skiing, Windsurfing, Surfing
Rope Courses, Backpacking, Camp Crafts, Rafting, Rock Climbing,
Outdoor Cooking, Overnights, Hiking
Basketry, Drawing, Jewelry, Leatherwork, Metalwork, Crafts,
Painting, Cooking, Writing, Photography, Sculpture, Weaving, Stained
Glass, Woodwork, Film/Video, Sewing, Journalism, Ceramics, Sewing,
Knitting, Pottery, Acting, Directing, Magic, Puppetry, Script
Writing, Costuming, Lighting, Makeup, Set Construction,
Broadcasting, Ballet, Rock Music, Jazz, Choreography, Folk Dance,
Modern Dance, Instrumental, Voice, Instrumental
Geology, Gardening, Biology, Marine Biology, Farming, Nature,
Astronomy, Rocketry, Ecology, Computing, Archaeology, Physics,
Foreign Language, Remedial Tutoring, Academic Enrichment, English as
a Second Language (ESL), SAT Prep, Reading, Computers, Historical,
A more traditional camp program
tends to be broader in what it offers. These general camps will
provide programs in team sports, individual and waterfront
activities as well as some outdoor activities. Sleepover
camps provide a summer residential program where campers enjoy daily and
evening activities. Overnight camps are coed, all boys, all girls,
or brother and sister. If your child is considering this
type of camp there are some important questions that you ask:
- Does the program encourage
the child to try new things?
- How competitive are the
sports? Will an unskilled child feel left out or embarrassed?
- Is instruction given in each
- Who are the instructors and
what is their experience?
- How structured is the
program? Does the child have any choices?
Like anything else in
life camps vary in price. As a parent you have to make a
careful assessment of your family's budget regarding camp costs.
Weigh the cost of the camp against the cost to provide childcare for the
time frame. Also, consider the hidden cost involved with camps for
instance charges for field trips, extra spending money, camp equipment
attend sleepaway camps from one to eight weeks. These camps range
in price from as low as $400 for one week to as high as $9000 for
a full season based on location and activities. Specialty camps, which
offer a one week session in a specific sport or activity, can range from
$150 - $500.
You will find that
the smaller camps (under 100 campers) allow the staff and campers to
really get to know each other and individual needs can be accommodated.
Large camps (more than 400 campers) need to be organized in small groups
to offer the same attention that you would get at a small camp. You must
however check to make sure your child will not get lost in the mix.
Also, it is important to find out how groups are selected and is skill
level a factor. You must be sure that the camp will meet the needs
of your child.
It is important to
consider the distance that you are willing to travel when you select a
camp. If your child is going for an extended period of time this
may not be as much of an issue since the number of trips to and from
would be limited. If it is not an overnight camp and you will need
to transport your child each day you must consider travel time.
Remember, if you are a working parent you might want to consider
something that is on your way to work in order to make it easier in the
IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Be sure to
investigate the security of the camp and the camps medical facilities.
These are two very important issues to consider. You want to make
sure that your child will be secure and that in case of an emergency
there is qualified medical personnel available.
Does your child have
any special needs for instance language barrier, physical disability,
allergies, special food requests, or learning disability. Will they be
accommodate you child's needs?
locate a camp...
Quite often it is difficult for parents
to locate a camp in your area
There are in fact a number of ways to resolve this problem.
General List of
Locations That Offer Camps...
Art and Music
Organizations (i.e KIXX soccer club, Phillies and 76ers in
Philadelphia all sponsor camps)
on camps will often appear in your local newspapers. Many papers
will do special camp guides in the early spring that will contain
detailed information or you may find page ads
throughout the paper.
elementary schools will distribute flyers containing youth camp registration information for the community.
Middle or Intermediate
schools are less likely to send flyers home.
sporting goods stores may have bulletin boards containing information
for all sporting camps in the community.
parents are a great source of information since many have already
participated in camps with older children.
telephone directory is another source that may have listings of camps.
National Web Sites to
Many youth camp
organizations now have websites and voice mail containing information
about their programs.
A few websites that
you can investigate when you are seeking camps in your area are listed
below. All Star Activities is in no way associated with these
sites and does not promote the information that you will find on these
HOW TO COMPARE
Make a list of the
camps that you are most interested in and then contact the
representative and arrange to speak to them. In order to
accurately compare the camps you should have a list of questions that
you ask each representative. This will keep your thoughts
organized allow you to get the detail necessary to make a educated
What are the number of
What are the camp's
goals and philosophy?
emphasis is placed on fun and participation?
How long has
the organization been in business?
organization have injury insurance?
What is the schedule
like? Is it a structured program or one that emphasizes a lot of
- What is the
- How does the camp insure the
safety and security of its campers?
- What medical facilities are
available and what medical staff is on site?
- What percentage of
campers return each year?
- What is the total cost
of the camp including extras?
- What are the sleeping
arrangements/ bathroom facilities?
- What kind of food is
served and who prepares it?
- What is the swimming
instruction program like?
- What happens when the
weather is bad?
- Is there a refund policy if
the camper leaves early?
- Are references available?
Remember you can never ask too