How to Pick the Best Summer Camp for Your Child
This time of year I spend time every day helping parents pick summer camps for their children. I thought that it was only fair for me to share this information with everyone. I know that I am the kind of parent that is more likely to register online rather than call and visit, but sometimes the extra information that you can find out by visiting with someone can be invaluable nuggets of knowledge. So here are my little nuggets for choosing camps.
Start with the age of your child. I know that seems like a given; however many parents do try to enroll their child in programs that are not age appropriate. As parents it is our job to think that our child or children are the smartest, most beautiful and wonderful children in the whole world. I certainly think that my two sons are the handsomest, most brilliant and thoughtful guys in the universe, because they are the center of mine. Unfortunately my love for them does not blind me to everything. I am well aware of their inability to keep their personal space tidy or notice when they spill something. While a child may in fact be a genius, they may not fit in with a group of children that is two years older than they are. An age appropriate camp will stimulate your child's mind, develop their social skills and most importantly they will be comfortable with their peers.
Think about your child's interests. Again, this may seem like a no brainer. You should think about your child's interests outside the box though. Maybe your child loves putting together building sets. This could mean that your child likes not only construction and engineering but also might like putting together facts in a spy or mystery camp. If your child loves cooking, a chemistry camp might be the logical choice. A kiddo that loves art may love the creativeness of an invention camp.
Location, location, location is always a big deal. I often ask parents where they live and where they work when determining the best location. Sometimes there may be a location in the middle or close to work that a parent may not have considered. Some parents even choose locations near a grandparent, so that grandpa can pick up the kids and have a little bit of time to spoil them before they go home.
The date and time can always be a limiting factor. When is grandma going to have her summer week and when is that family vacation going to happen? Summer schedules can be crazy and keeping track of it all can sometimes make us crazy. Camps that have flexibility can be helpful. Some will allow you to move from one week to another and have a minimal fee to switch or have no fee (like Mad Science!). This flexibility allows you to make plans without pestering grandma about planning her schedule right away.
The goal of any good summer program should be for all the children enrolled to have a great time and create awesome summer memories.
About the Author Adrianna Hagan (also known as D N Adri) loves all things science especially Mad Science since she joined the Mad Science family in 1999. If she is away from the Mad Science Lab, you might spot her around town kayaking, running with her dog, or launching a rocket.