Summer camps provide kids with memories that will last a lifetime. In the past 20 years, the number of day camps has increased by 90% in the United States. That makes for more than 12,000 camps, 5,000 of which are day camps. More than 11 million people, children and adults, go to camp each year nationwide.
These kids camps are also great way to get kids to be more active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Unfortunately one in every three children get any activity most days. In fact, kids now spend nearly eight hours a day watching a screen of some kind. This includes televisions, game consoles, computers and tablets. Summer camps, even a day camp, provide activities that are not watching someone else do something but engage campers in fun activities. Some regions offer beach camps.
Tips for picking the best camp
- Talk to your kids about what they want. Different summer camps offer different things in terms of activities and focus. What does your child like to do? Are they an avid swimmer? Do they love baseball? You can find a camp for just about every taste and interest. Does your child love to surf? Maybe a beach camp would be the place for them. Try not to force your experiences on your child, listen to what they want. Some camps offer intensive courses in a certain sport and can be good for kids who know what they are interested in and want to build on a skill set they already have started to develop.
- To stay or not to stay? Day camps can great if your child is new to the camp experience. This can make sure they are active and have a great time but are still living at home. Overnight camps start for kids aged seven and up. How well does your child do at sleepovers? Are they independent enough to be ok living away from home for a bit? Going to an overnight camp can be a great way for them to build their sense of self and independence.
- Do your research and ask questions. After you have narrowed down your search to a few camps, look into what other people say about them. Ask the camp all the questions you have. You are going to entrust them with the safety of your child so if they are unwilling or unable to answer any questions, you should go someplace else. Check with other parents. Look at reviews online. Any time you spend researching summer camps will make you feel better later.
Summer camps can be wonderful fun. Kids meet new friends and have experiences that they cannot have anywhere else. They will get to play games they know and learn some they do not. Doing research before will ensure you and they get the most out of the summer camp experience.