Summer camps are widely popular across the US. Especially summer camps in Colorado. They offer many benefits like improving socialization skills, cognitive skills, and critical thinking skills pending the type of camp your child attends. There are however dozens of kinds of summer camps ranging from sports to science to camps simply meant to help kids socialize. This leaves many parents wondering how to choose a summer camp for their child.
What makes a good summer camp?
A good summer camp should be filled with activities that your child enjoys as well as values that you want instilled in them. There are however a few key elements to look out for when choosing the best camp for your counselor!
- A friendly, encouraging, and enthusiastic staff. This is important especially for first time sleepaway campers as they are often a little bit nervous for their first time! You want the staff to be ready for such emotions and prepared to comfort them and make them feel welcome.
- Enhanced safety procedures. Most summer camps have safety protocols in place in order to protect staff and campers. However, it’s best to ask for a copy of those procedures before you enroll our child in the sleepaway camp. Review them and be sure that you’re comfortable and feel that your kid will be in good hands.
- Long standing tradition. Although it’s often overlooked, sleepaway camps rich in tradition often make the best summer camps. Traditions hold high value and instill a sense of pride in not only the camp counselors, but the campers themselves. Traditions are often taught or engaged in with enthusiasm, making the campers excited and eager to be a part of the camps history.
- An emphasis on teaching. The best summer camps are often the ones that teach without making your kids feel like they’re at school. After all, its summer camp, it’s supposed to be fun! The sleepaway camp you choose should include lessons and teachings that you want your kid to learn but also that they want to learn. This can be anything from learning how to socialize, to play a sport to shoot a bow and arrow!
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What kinds of summer camps are there?
There are dozens of stimulating and inspiring summer camps in the US that you could enroll your kiddo in. Pending your child’s interests, you’ll want to do a narrowed-down search to find sleepaway camps that promote their desires. Some of the most prevalent summer camps include:
- Music or entertainment camps: Ideal for kids who want to learn to play an instrument or enhance the skills they already have. These camps often also include theatre groups and dance groups for those interested!
- Science camps: There are general science camps that teach a variety of science-related subjects, but there are also specialized camps. If your kiddo has an interest in environmental science, there’s a camp for that! If they’re more into making mentos explode in coke bottles, there’s a camp for that too!
- Scouting camps: For those who want to learn how to pitch tents, build a fire, fish, hunt, identify plant species, and other outdoor activities, scouting camps are your best bet!
- Sports camps: Whether they’re interested in one specific sport or a plethora of them, sports camps are a fun way to improve athleticism. There are camps that focus on a specific sport, and there are camps that teach numerous sports, it’s a matter of preference.
How long do summer camps last?
Most summer camps last at least 60 days, some are longer, some are shorter. It depends on the camp itself. The purpose of this time frame is to provide your kids with a well-rounded experience that doesn’t feel rushed or forced.
However, something that most parents don’t know about sleepaway camps is that they often have shorter options for new campers. Most camps will allow new campers to spend only 2 weeks with them, but then extend that time to the rest of the summer if they want to.
How much do parents pay for summer camp?
The average cost for a sleepaway camp is roughly $500/week. However, this will vary based on the type of camp, the length of the camp, and the kinds of activities the camp hosts. Some camps can be as low as $300/week while others can be as high as $2,000/week. You’ll have to reach out the camp you’re looking into and ask what their prices are!
What age are kids ready for summer camp?
According to the American Camp Association who helps facilitate most summer camps, children should be 7 years old before partaking in any sleepaway camps that last longer than 1 week. However, this is not a golden rule as every child is different. Some kids have no trouble spending time away from home for extended amounts of time, while others need to work up to it.
Are there summer camps specifically for boys or girls?
There are numerous summer camps that are gender-specific for parents who would prefer an all-girl or all-boy camp for their kids. These camps are often smaller in size, which is also nice for kids who don’t do well with large crowds and prefer something a bit less chaotic.
There are also camps that are not gender-specific, but that do keep the male and female campers separate. Campers are still on the same grounds and will see each other at times, but they are not actively engaged with each other in these kinds of camps.
Finding the best sleepaway camp for your kid(s) is about more than picking a camp that peaks their interest. It’s about choosing a camp rich in tradition that can teach your kids about something they enjoy while naturally enhancing other areas of their cognition. Make sure you’re involving your kids in the process of picking a camp as they’re the ones who are going to be there for the entire summer!