Choosing the right summer camp for your child may seem like a difficult task, but it’s much easier when you know what to look for. Read on for our top tips for selecting a summer camp.
Nothing revs up a child quite like the music from the ice cream truck on a particularly scorching summer afternoon. However, after the initial excitement some children may be overwhelmed by the number of ice cream options they have to choose from. Grown-ups experience this, too — how long was your last trip to the grocery store?
With over 5,500 summer camp options listed on Blueprint4Summer STL, choosing the right summer camp for your child may seem like a difficult task. However, just as you might help your child choose their treat from the ice cream truck with a quick process of elimination, you can choose choose the best summer camp for your child in the same way. Maybe your child doesn’t like vanilla or doesn’t like nuts, so you start by eliminating those ice cream bars. This would be comparable to your child getting crabby if they are in the heat all day or getting too fidgety after being cooped up inside for a while.
Note: If your kid LOVES ice cream, check out COCA’s Ice Cream Camp!
By making note of the things that WON’T work for your child, you’ll have an easier time zeroing in on the summer camps that WILL meet your needs. From there, you can start your search and find the types of camps you’re looking for.
Choosing a Summer Camp: Evaluating Camp Options
Once you’re in the ballpark and have a few types of camps picked out based on your child’s interests, it’s time to start looking into them further. Here are four of the most important things to consider when choosing a summer camp:
- Personal needs. Do they have the special requirements and amenities your child needs or desires?
- Time. Do they offer the flexible hours (like Webster University’s Community Music School that has different classes at all times of the day) that correlate with your schedule?
- Location. Is the camp located near home, school, or work? How will your child get to and from camp? Some camps provide transportation and before and after care to make the logistics of pickup and drop-off easier on parents.
- Money. Do they offer a price that is in your budget? The Saint Louis Public Library has 70 different camps that are all completely FREE!
There are plenty of different things to consider when choosing your child’s summer camp. The short list above is a good place to start, but the BP4S search page will show you some options you never even considered. Head on over and start planning for summer fun now!
Choosing a Summer Camp: Evaluating Program Providers
Once you’ve found a few summer camp options that seem like a good fit for your needs, schedule, and budget, you may need to narrow down the list even further. At this point, it is a good idea to take a closer look at the camp providers. Make sure the camp is hosted by a reputable and professionally-conducted organization with structured activities and qualified staff.
Beyond the basics, consider that when you sign your child up for a summer camp you are likely to learn about other programs and benefits provided by the organization that might be of interest to you and your child after camp is over. If you are deciding between two camps from different providers, it could be a good move to choose the option hosted by an organization you’d like to learn more about.
If you’re trying to pick between two great camp options from the same provider, consider letting your child choose! You’ve already done the hard work of finding something that works for your family, so you can feel confident that no matter which option your child picks, it will be a winner.
Still need help choosing a summer camp? Learning about all of the different options can be helpful. Read our recent post about the Types of Summer Camps for Kids.