Planning to send your kid to a stay away summer camp?
Here is a quick guide to help you choose the right one:
- What are you looking at? This is the first consideration. Choosing a camp depends a lot on your expectations from a camp? What kind of activities are you looking for? Are you looking for just a fun camp or a physically taxing and an adventurous camp? Involving your child in the decision making process is equally important. Your child should be comfortable participating in the different activities.
- Are you looking for a traditional camp with a mix of activities or a specialised camp focusing on a certain specific activity? Traditional camp activities include a mix of a range of activities like sports, arts, crafts, dance and music, recreational, creative, and social etc. Special camps may include focused training of a specific skill or activity. With camps that focus on different activities, you should find out whether any of the activities are compulsory and whether your child has a choice in choosing the activities.
- Duration of the camp needs to be taken into consideration. A camp may be two night long or it may go up to a week or more. The duration of the camp should also depend on the comfort of your child. For a child who is new to the idea of camping, a shorter camp is better to start with. For older kids longer stays are suitable.
- Camps can be gender specific too so you can choose whether you want to send your kid to an all boys/girls camp or a mixed camp. Gender specific camps might have different activities better suited to them.
- Another important aspect is whether your child is comfortable going alone or wishes to go with a friend. If you are planning to send your child with a friend, interacting with the parents is important so as to come to a mutual decision.
- Budget is an important factor. The fees for the camps differ according to the activities involved, duration of the camp etc. Location is also an important factor since the budget can change depending on the location too.
- In case of any health or psychological factors, it is always better to interact with the instructors and ensure that they are sensitive to your child’s needs. In case they are not very receptive it is not worth sending your child to such a camp.
- As for searching for the right camp you can have a look at the online sources, information from schools, references from friends and family etc.
- Once you have your list down to a few you can attend the information sessions held by the camps where you can meet and interact with the staff and instructors.
- Safety and accreditations are an important factor that needs to be looked at. The accommodation provided, emergency protocols etc. are equally important. A look at the rules and regulations and the policies is advisable.