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School’s Out For Summer: Some Very “Campy” Ideas

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I can’t say that compared to many children in the world, or even as compared to my parents and grandparents that I grew up “poor” or “deprived”. However, being a child of much simpler times (when a Levitt home was considered more than enough for a family of four), perhaps partially because of finances, and partly because mom was “leery” of putting me in the care of someone else, I never went to camp. Still, many of my friends and relatives “did”. In fact, day camp and drum corp. were quite popular among my inner circle, especially during the “out-of-school” summer months.

But, for many parents, sending kids to day camp can stir up mixed reactions. On one hand it’s a “blessing”, keeping them busy during the days, when you need the extra time for YOU, but on the other, leaving you “worried” about who is watching over your kids.

And, believe it or not, there’s something for every budget and age group. But, finding the “right one” means knowing what to look for. After all, they’ll be responsible for your children.

1. Outline your objectives: Ask yourself what you’d like the experience to offer, you and your child. Objectives can range from learning new skills to helping your child cultivate certain interests or helping him or her build confidence and social skills.

2. Outline other expectations: While you may be sending your child to camp for a specific reason, you may also have secondary stipulations such as a camp that embraces your faith or offers special language skills. Also, consider if your child is old enough to get anything out of the experience, and which experience is best for him or her. Remember, sleep away camps are better for older children but you may also want consider location, sleeping arrangement, staff qualifications, distance from home (in case of emergency), etc.

3. Take kids into consideration: Think about the type of kid your child is and what environment he or she will thrive in. Also consider his or her interests and be sure that the camp(s) you are considering have enough to offer to keep your child active and interested.

4. Does your child have any special needs or limitations: Make sure you address the camp about meeting any of your child’s physical, intellectual or social limitations.

5. Consider the most beneficial environment for you child: Think about the structure of the camp, their values, and if it’s coed or not… plus, which environment meets both your needs and your child’s needs and wishes.

Experts also suggest that parents consider the size of the camp, as far as not only how large the facility is, but how many children will be in attendance.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > School’s Out For Summer: Some Very “Campy” Ideas

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