As you know, summertime brings about swimming pools, beach trips, sunscreen, and summer vacation.
What’s a working parent to do when the kids are out for summer but you aren’t?
This year we are looking into summer camp for our two children. I’m luckily able to schedule my work around my kids, but not all parents are. Even so, I still need work time added into my schedule on a daily, or at least weekly, basis. Therefore, though my children are still too young to be going away for camp as some do, they will be attending a few day programs in our area.
How can you locate a good hometown summer camp? Here are a few tips:
- Check the paper. Our newspaper ran a special section a few weeks back that listed numerous summer camps in our area. We ran through the ads, circled the ones we thought the kids might like best, and began researching each of these programs first.
- Think themes. What is abundant in your area? We are located near the coast, and several camps exist in our area that revolve around sea turtles and marine life.
- Try museums. Many will run summer camp programs at the location.
- Zoo it. Most zoos have some type of summer camp program available during the summer months. What better way for your child to spend the day than at the zoo observing the apes?!
- Ask around. Many people might know of different programs simply by having different contacts than you. Ask your friends if they know of any day camp programs your children might like to attend.
- Ask the school. Some schools keep a list of potential programs. Even if they don’t, asking those involved with children about summer camps is always a good idea.
What should you consider with a day camp program?
- Hours. Not all day camps keep school hours. In fact, some only run for half the day. If you are working full time you’ll need a back up plan, or a way to get your child to after-camp care once the program ends for the day.
- Cost. Some camps offer lunch and snack while others don’t. Some camps include the price of admission to a variety of events. Ask about all fees in advance so you can plan the price accordingly.
- Activities. Ask what it is the kids will be doing for the day. Some camps have structured schedules while others offer a more lax approach.
- Student to teacher ratio. How many students in each class, and how many adults?
For one of our daughters, we’ve decided on a marine-based camp that lasts a week, along with possibly several days of cheerleading camp, which is more of a drop-off program that can be done anytime without reservations.
Where have you located camps in your area, and do you have any other advice for finding the perfect fit?