P&K How-To: How To Choose A Summer Camp
In the P&K Area, there is quite a smorgasbord of summer camp opportunities for kids, and there seem to be new offerings every year. Now is a great time to start thinking about which camps to choose, as summer schedules begin to fill up. Narrowing down your options is key.
First, determine the budget. A $200 per week camp when the budget only allows a $125 per week is a deal breaker. Unless there is a compelling reason to reconfigure the family finances for an activity, it’s best to be reasonable and stick to the predetermined camp allowances. No guilt here! But special circumstances might make scholarships available to certain camps. For example, a local charity, Kid Logistics, offers grants to kids with Cystic Fibrosis so that they can attend summer camps. Camp directors may have access to other info about available scholarships, so just ask!
After that, narrowing down interests is key. Older kids may need to spend time at specialized camps and intensives that are targeted to improving specific skills. But for younger kids summer camps can be great for developing new interests. The little soccer player might very well have the time of her life at Science camp. The normally shy music lover might find a new niche at a camp at the Zoo! And, of course, encouraging current interests by involving the kids with what they already love is good as well.
Family schedules take precedence right after budgetary concerns. Camps need to be able to coordinate with parents’ work schedules and the family’s vacation schedules. Many camps offer several identical sessions throughout the summer, which is great for busy families. Take an old fashioned paper calendar and block out the times the family is gone. Then write down the camps that the kids hope to attend. Then just play ‘paperdoll’ with the calendar and see what can fit where. After the calendar decisions have been made, ask around to see who else is attending during those dates and see if a carpool can be arranged.
Spending the summer playing, learning, and growing makes for happy, interesting kids. Have fun finding the best fit for the little campers under your roof!
Leah O’Gwynn Kackley lives, works, and homeschools in the Rez/Fannin area with her husband, Jason, and their three kids.