Choosing a Summer Camp

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summer-campFind a Summer Camp That’s Right for Your Child

Summer has almost arrived and, as with many Floridian parents, you may have started thinking about which camp or educational facility to send your child to for the long summer months. Summer camp is a great opportunity for your child to meet new people, see new places, and learn new things. There are many things to consider when choosing a camp, and it is important that you take as much time as you can to discuss the options with your family and find a camp which suits everyone, especially the child or children who will be attending.

The first thing most parents consider are the interests of their child: do they like the outdoors? Do they like painting or creating art? Are they academic, or do they prefer physical activities? Once you have identified an interest, it’s time to do some research on the camps within your area and – more importantly – in your price range. At this stage you’ll have to be realistic about the logistics involved: will you need to drop off and pick up your child every day? If so, will you be able to fit these lifts in with your work schedule? If it’s an extended program, are you able to drive your child there and can you afford the extra expense of accommodation? The final, and potentially most important, part of the options available to you which you must investigate is the condition of the premises and the kinds of training and certification held by the camp’s staff.

What activities are offered by the summer camp?
Modern parents are generally spoiled for choice when it comes to summer camps for their children; all around the country there are traditional ‘outdoor’ style camps, science or maths-centred camps, programs which encourage and teach art, and camps which specialise in music and bands. The first question you should ask your child before deciding on a summer camp for them to attend is “What are you interested in?” Try to find a specific camp which caters to the hobbies and interest of the child. In addition to speaking openly with their children, parents can even ask their child’s teachers about which type of program would be beneficial. Parents should also be aware of their child’s personality, and their ability to remain independent and happy away from home. Most summer camps in Florida offer camp programs which last from one week to two months. Some have options for daily campers as well, which allows parents to drop and pick up their children throughout the summer holidays.

Logistics and safety
It may be tempting to choose the most popular camp on the internet, but be considerate about the transportation costs involved, especially if the program is out of state. It’s highly recommended for parents to actually drive to the camp and check it out a few weeks before summer starts. Once at the camp pay attention to the safety conditions: do the buildings look well maintained? Are there fire extinguishers in sight? Ask the staff and counsellors about their qualifications, and whether they have medical aid training. Trust your gut when you arrive at the camp, and if you have a bad feeling about it then just move on to the next one.


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