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"TIPS FOR SELECTING A SUMMER CAMP"
By Albrecht Powell, About.com Guide
If you are planning to enroll your child in a camp there are several things you should consider when choosing a camp program:
Day or Residential?
Summer camps come in a variety of lengths. Day camps are great for a child's first camp experience and work well for children who don't like to be away from home. Residential camps, on the other hand, can last anywhere from one week to the entire summer, depending upon the type of program chosen. They offer the opportunity for children to gain independence away-from-home, explore new activities, and create friendships!
Type of Camp?
To help make camp a fun and memorable experience for your child, you need to find a program that fits your child's age and interests. If your child loves sports or arts or activities in nature, try to find a program which offers these activities. Don't make the mistake of assuming that a camp which emphasizes sports will motivate a child who hasn't shown much interest in sports. Traditional camps offer a variety of activities that include recreation, arts and crafts, individual and team activities, games etc... Campers are usually able to select their favorites from a long list of activities or can choose to try something new each day.Specialized or theme camps offer activities and instruction in one or two very focused skills such as the performing arts (dance, theater...), a particular sport (horseback riding, scuba diving...). This type of camp is geared toward improving skills in the specialized activity, while still allowing some free time for other camp pursuits such as swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, discovering a region (field trips). These programs are best for children who enjoy specific activities and who have the ability to concentrate on something for longer periods.
Location of Camp?
If this is the first summer camp experience for your child, then a day-camp that is relatively close to your home might provide some reassurance. Now, if the perfect camp for your child is located further away or even abroad, don't let that stop you! Once your child gets to camp and gets involved, the distance really won't matter so much, what matters is that you work with an organization that you trust who will provide you with great service and help you feel close to your child even from far away.
Cost of Camp?
While researching the cost of the camp program, make sure to know about the total cost. Are there additional charges for some of the activities? Are you expected to provide transportation, meals or equipment? What is the refund policy if your child gets sick or something unexpected comes up at the last minute?
Duration of Camp?
How long does your child want to spend at a camp? In day camps campers attend only during the day for as many weeks as they like. Overnight camps however, last anywhere from one week to the entire summer.