Finding the best summer camp for your kids can be a real challenge, mainly due to the many options for you to choose from. Just like when you’re choosing travel destinations, it’s important to consider the activities and location of the camp. On top of that, when making a decision, it’s important to focus on the summer camp’s format.
Today, there are four basic types of summer camps for you to choose from.
- Day summer camps – These are held throughout the day, and kids go back home at night. It is a great option for kids who are joining a summer camp for the first time and not used to sleeping away from home.
- Overnight summer camp – Also known as a sleep-away camp, this is overnight camps where kids can have their own area to camp on their own.
- Travel summer camps – This is a program that involves traveling and camping to another country or state.
- Special summer camps – This is a focus on kids who have special needs or disabilities.
Questions to Ask Know Before Choosing a Summer Camp
Before enrolling your kid on a summer camp, there are things you need to check first. Here are some questions you may want to ask when choosing a summer camp.
- What to expect? If you’re planning to send your kids on a summer camp, make sure that you know what the camp offer, including the pickup, schedule, duration, and other general information.
- What are the activities being offered? Make sure to choose camps that offer activities your kids will find interesting.
- What are do we need to know? If you are seeking sleep away camp, inquire about the rules and security policy about letting kids call home since some of the camps let kids use mobile phones.
- What are they going to eat? For day camps, make sure to know what the meals plan they are preparing for your kids are.
- What will be provided? Furthermore, ask if they are going to provide your kids with sunscreen and other protections.
Qualities of a Good Summer Camp
If you would like for your kids or other family members to enjoy their summer vacation in nature, it’s important to look for the best summer camp that will suit your kids’ needs. If it’s your kids’ first time to camp out and a little worried, then you can look for campsites that are located within the area. You can surely find campsites around your home but could meet your needs and can provide you with experience and knowledge. Here are some features to look for when choosing the right summer camping experience for your kids.
- The total duration of the camping trip. Some camps offer only half day camping trips while there are also ones that last for a few days.
- Offered programs. Different camps offer different programs. These programs are meant to improve your kids’ skills and talents. These camps also offer game activities for everyone.
- Camp location. As much as possible, you may want to look for a camp that is not too far from where you live. This is in order to keep your kids from getting bored with the travel time and also to give you peace of mind while they are having their time without you. It is best to choose a campsite that is accessible by cars.
- Safety condition. You wouldn’t want to leave your kids in a camping site with many wild animals wandering all over an area or near a razing lake. Always put your family’s safety as your first priority.
- Restrictions. There are that camps that don’t care with what the campers are going to bring while there are also camps that put restrictions on food, drinks, or even devices since summer camps are normally held near national parks or wildlife reserves.
- Check the accreditation. Accredited summer camps are great options as they are checked if they are following the state’s health and safety standards and this is an assurance that people who camp in there are going to be safe.
Now that you know things you need to consider before choosing the right camp for your kids, the next thing you need to think about is the things you need to pack.
Essential Things to Bring In a Summer Camp
- Medicines. Medicines or first aid kit are always necessary. This is especially the case if the camping site is known to be visited by mosquitoes and other bugs, make sure to pack some anti-mosquito lotion or if possible, even mosquito net if they are going to stay overnight.
- Proper clothes. Pack some thin and comfortable clothes for your kids that are ideal for the summer season. However, it’s also important to bring at least one jacket as the weather can suddenly change in the forest. Compute the days of stay in order to know how many clothes to bring.
- Flashlights. While most camping camps have their own source of lights, so it shouldn’t be a problem, it’s still always better to have a flashlight in case of emergency. This is also needed in case the kids need to explore at nighttime. Of course, you need to make sure that the flashlight is fully charged or you have extra batteries.
- Essential food. Because campsites are usually in the middle of nowhere, you shouldn’t expect that there is a store where you can buy foods from. If your kids are big enough already, you could also get them to bring stoves where they can cook. Make sure to ask the management if campers are allowed to do that, though.
- Tents. There are camps that have cottages for lodging but not all of them, and this is another thing you need to check first.
Summer camps are good for kids of any ages. Actually, if you have experienced attending summer camp as a child, you’ve probably had memories from your trip. With more and more kids sitting indoor choosing to play video games or smartphone, the importance of camping has never become greater than ever.
Alice is a full-time travel blogger. She was a former accountant who decided to escape the rat-race for an adventure-fueled life. Follow her adventures on For Travelista for useful travel tips and recommendations.