When you are looking for a way to keep the kids occupied during their time away from school, summer day camps are a great option.
Summer Day Camps: Definition
Not all summer camps involve having the participants staying over at a location. Children attending one of the summer day camps offered by various organizations are dropped off before the activities start and are picked up at a specific time later in the day. There are many options for parents to chose from when it comes to this type of summer camp:
General day camps offer a variety of activities for participants. Their day may include songs, games, as well as arts and crafts.
Sports camps focus on providing instruction in one or more sports. Some full-day camps offer two kinds of sports; campers may spend the morning learning the finer points of one sport and the afternoon improving their skills in another.
Various religious groups offer day camps for parishioners. Besides fun activities, part of the program includes some Bible study or other age-appropriate religious instruction.
Academic camps give participants the opportunity to prepare for college, learn English as a Second Language (ESL), or learn about science or another subject.
Horse camps focus on giving children the opportunity to learn or improve their horseback riding skills. Each person is assigned to his or her own horse and learns how to groom and care for the animal, as well.
- Special Needs
Special needs summer camps are run for children dealing with a number of medical issues. There are programs offered for children who are visually or hearing impaired, developmentally disabled, or who live with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, or muscular dystrophy. Other camps are set up for those with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, or Tourettes Syndrome.
Choosing the Right Camp for Your Child
There are several factors you need to look at before deciding on a summer day camp for your child:
Make sure that the camp you are considering is in a location that is easy for you to get to. Ideally, it will be close to your home or on your way to work. Consider how long it will take for you to get to the camp location if your child becomes ill or is injured while participating in camp activities.
- Operating Hours
The camp will have set hours during the day when activities are run, but these may not be convenient for working parents. Be sure to ask if the camp you are considering has extended hours so that parents can drop off children on the way to work and pick them up at the end of the day.
A key consideration when you are looking at summer day camps is the cost of attendance. Ask about different pricing options offered. If you sign you child up for more than one week, you may be able to get a discount on the price for the additional time. Some camps will give a break on pricing when a family signs up more than one child, so ask if this is an option.
- Staff Ratios
You will also want to find out how many children the camp can accommodate and how many staff members will be present. Low staff-to-camper ratios mean that the children will get more individual attention.
Ask about the type of training the staff at the camp are required to have before being hired. Along with expertise in the activities they will be leading for the children, you will want to make sure that they have a background that includes First Aid and CPR training.
Taking the time to check out a number of summer day camps will ensure that you will choose one that your child will enjoy and you will feel comfortable sending them to.