Reasons Why Summer Day Camp Could be the Best Fit for Your Kids

Reasons Why Summer Day Camp Could be the Best Fit for Your Kids

- in 2019 Editions, Camp, Magazine, March 2019
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It’s true that Northeast Ohio’s weather may not feel like summer is near, but winter actually is the best time to sign up your kids for summer camp. Day camp is an alternative to traditional overnight camp, and an option many families choose for their children.

The obvious difference between day camp and overnight camp is the schedule, but there are other items to take into account when making a decision about what is right for your children and family. Find out why summer day camp may be the right choice.

Going to Camp
Day camps typically run during normal work and school hours, so their schedules can align with a child’s daily routine. Kids return home each night to relax, eat dinner and sleep in their own bed. This highlights a benefit for parents: their child can maintain a consistent sleep schedule throughout summer vacation.

“Day camps give children the ability to immerse themselves in a true camp experience, and return to the comforts of home at the end of each day,” says Miriah Seckel, director of Summer at Laurel. “Some camps, like one we have here at Summer at Laurel, offer a one night campout option for children who are interested in an overnight camp, but not quite ready to take the leap of being away from home for an entire week or longer.”

Practice with Peers
Day camp can ease younger children into new social experiences.

“Preschoolers or children heading to kindergarten in particular can benefit from summer day camp as a fun, short-term introduction to the school dynamic,” says Teece Lester, preschool coordinator at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. “Like school, summer camp gives kids socialization practice apart from family or well-known friends. After all, when a child plays with a sibling, parent, good friend or cousin, they are not getting practice with how to make new friends or navigate conflict with new peers.

“Summer camps also give young children practice with separation from parents and help kids gain confidence in trying new things,” Lester adds.

Specialize or Try Something New
Many of these camps offer weeklong or several weeks of opportunities to work on a specific interest, or maybe even learn a new skill.
“Day camps offer the perfect solution for a child that is interested in trying something new, or wants to spend the summer doing a variety of activities,” Sekel says. “Additionally, there are many specialized offerings such as sports, art, STEM, adventure and more. For many families with (children) of various ages, organizations offering day camps typically have options for all ages. Also, it is much more convenient for working families to come and from one location, rather than try to navigate multiple locations.”

Selecting a Camp
There are numerous factors to consider when selecting a day camp. Parents should do their research and ask a lot of questions before deciding on a camp.

Mark Nestor, director of Hawken Auxiliary Programs, encourages parents to “shop around and ask questions when looking for a camp for their child(ren). Parents should try to match up their child’s interests and temperament with the right camp. It’s also important to ask about camper/counselor ratios, daily schedule, and how campers are grouped. The answers to these questions can ensure a quality summer experience for the child.”

When considering which camp works best for your family, Seckel says, “Location, duration and cost are all factors that will likely play into the initial consideration. By talking to the camp staff and/or director, you will gain a better sense of what their camp is all about, and in turn, be able to make a well-informed decision regarding enrollment.

“There really is a day camp for every child,” Seckel adds.

About the author

Michelle Dickstein is a full-time working mom of three. Her passions include food, family vacations, and helping others live their best lives. You can read more from her at emailingwithmygirlfriends.com or northeastohioparent.com/bloggers.

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