You’ve made it through the holidays and it’s time for the next parental challenge: Summer. While it’s still months away, you know that soon, deadlines will be looming and programs filling up.
Attending a Camp Fair is an easy way to get motivated for planning a summer of enrichment and adventure to ensure that your child’s summer days aren’t wasted away in front of the television or iPad. But it’s important that the camp or camps you choose are a good fit for your child and your budget. At a camp fair, not only will you find all the information you need in one place, but you will most likely have fun exploring all of the options available to you and your child.
Knowing that your child is participating in activities that will help him or her grow in confidence, independence, and socialization while potentially discovering new passions is the key to a reasonably stress-free summer for parents. Only you and your child can decide what type of camp is the right fit, but in order to make the best choice, you need to know what all the options are and ask yourself – and them – some important questions. What do they like to do? What might they like to learn? How might they be challenged and grow from the different experiences camps offer?
Below are some things you might consider before, during, and after attending a camp fair to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
Before the Fair
- Child care: Summer camp vs alternative options
- Is the camp full-day or half-day?
- Is before and/or after care offered?
- Cost: Can I afford it?
- Transportation: Provided by camp? Carpool opportunities?
- Food: Are snacks and/or lunch provided?
- Your child’s current interests and desires
- Interests and passions that might be piqued through exposure to new experiences
- Your child’s age and readiness: full-day, half-day, day camp, overnight camp
- Safety and supervision
Tips for Navigating a Camp Fair
- Find out what camps will be in attendance. If you have time, do some research in advance
- Prepare questions to ask representatives
- If possible, bring your child; observe what he or she is drawn to and interested in
- Gather informational materials
- Keep an open mind
After the Fair
- Take some time to review materials and prioritize options.
- Consider creating a spreadsheet for keeping track of offerings, costs, deadlines, etc.
- Empower and engage your child by including him or her in the discussion and choices.
- Enroll in camp as soon as you make your decision to ensure you get your top choice(s).
While this may at first seem overwhelming, you’ll be content knowing that you’ve explored and chosen the best option for your child and your family – whether it’s one week of camp, a full summer of camp, an overnight camp, or some combination of different camps. Remember: An engaged, active child is a happy child. Enrolling your child in summer camp not only provides engagement but a foundation of friendships, adventure, and memories that can last a lifetime.
— Submitted by Hawken School, which offers summer programs for boys and girls of all ages. For more information, visit hawken.edu/page/academics/summer-programs.
To learn more about adventures and opportunities for the kids at summer camp, please join us at Northeast Ohio Parent’s Camp Fair on January 27, 2018. Learn more and register here