Summertime is a magical time for kids. With the school break arriving, they get to enjoy long days with plenty of free time to do whatever they want.
But a few weeks into the break, children have a tendency to become bored to the point that they no longer wish to move from that cozy spot on the couch. Eyes glued to a screen (be it the TV or a smartphone), they lose all eagerness to explore and learn about the world and people around them.
Fortunately, there’s one effective way to break this summer slide: Sign them up for summer camps.
As the name implies, summer camps gather children from different places to curb the learning gap that may occur during the school break. As an out-of-school venue for all kinds of activities, camps offer a way to satiate your child’s need for creative expression and physical activity while fostering a social environment where they can engage with children of the same age.
Choosing a summer camp can be challenging, mainly due to the numerous options available. To help you pick the perfect seasonal academic summer camp for your child, below is a three-step guide to narrowing down your options:
Step #1: Talk to Your Child about Summer Camp
Thinning out your list of options is the essential first step in selecting a summer camp, and the best way to do it is to ask your child what type of gathering he wants to attend. During this stage, his participation in the decision-making process is crucial in creating an outcome that he can benefit from.
Understanding your child’s interests, wants, and needs can help ensure that you pick the right kind of camp to sign him up for. You can start by asking him what type of activities he would like to do during the length of summer. Then, look for camps that offer activities related to his interests.
For example, a child who thoroughly enjoys using computers and gadgets would do great in robotics and coding summer camps. Those who are musically inclined would get the most benefit from joining a band or music camp.
If he has no idea what kind of summer camp he wants to attend, you can simply ask him questions that can help clarify his interests. You can also offer suggestions, like an academic camp that covers science and mathematics, or a sports-oriented summer camp.
Step #2: List Down His Wants and Needs
After speaking with your child, it is time to consolidate the information you have. Aside from picking the general theme of the camp, you should also list down his wants or preferences and needs to narrow down your options further.
Wants include choices between daytime or overnight camps, co-ed or gender-exclusive, and short- or long-stay summer camps. You can also ask him whether he wishes to try a camp where he doesn’t know anyone or one where he can be in the company of a familiar face, like a friend, sibling, cousin or classmate.
Needs cover a variety of considerations such as the location, budget, transportation, lunch programs, and other special requirements your child might have.
Step #3: Factor in Location, Camp Size, and Facilities
After determining what your child wants and needs, it is time for you to do research on different summer camps. Be sure to cast a wide net so you can look at all the options available for your child.
You also have to consider several factors, including:
Look for summer camps located near you, especially if your child prefers a daytime camp over an overnight one. This will also be beneficial if it is his first time to leave the nest; knowing that your house is not far can help ease the separation anxiety he might feel in an overnight camp.
● Camp Size
Camp size is another important factor to consider as it may vary from one camp to another. It involves the number of campers joining the gathering, which can be as little as 10 or as big as 400.
If your child wants to get focused attention from the camp facilitators, smaller camps would be the best choice. But, if he prefers to make more friends and engage with a lot of people, you should look for bigger summer camps. Remember that children have unique preferences, so always ask and involve them in the decision-making process.
● Available Provisions
Another major factor to consider is the camp provisions and facilities, which include transportation, insurance, meals, health services, and other genre-specific equipment. Specialized facilities vary depending on the type of summer camp your child chooses (e.g., a computer lab for a coding camp).
You can browse through websites or ask the camp director about these. Also, make sure to determine whether they are already included in the tuition or not. This will help you know whether to give your child extra money for additional costs he might need to pay for in the camp.
Before You Decide
Summer camps offer a vast range of benefits for children. Aside from providing regular physical activities during summer break, they also foster social, emotional, and mental wellness. You should never forgo consulting your child when choosing a summer camp. After all, he will be the one to attend the event and reap all the exciting perks.
AUTHOR BIO :- Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.