Parent Resources

 Resources & Information for Parents

Tips from Industry Professionals

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Gauging Your Child’s Readiness

By: The American Camp Association

Answering these questions will help you determine when your child is ready for camp.

  • What is your child’s age? Children under age 7 may not adjust easily to being away from home. Consider the day camp experience to prepare them for future overnight camp.
  • How did your child become interested in camp? Does your child talk about camp and camp activities on a sustained basis? How much persuasion is necessary from you?
  • Has your child had positive overnight experiences away from home? Visiting relatives or friends? Were these separations easy or difficult?
  • What does your child expect to do at camp? Learning about the camp experience ahead of time allows you to create positive expectations.
  • Are you able to share
    consistent and positive messages about camp? Your confidence in a positive experience will be contagious.

Overnight Camp ~ Is My Child Ready?

By: Child Development Institute

As the school year nears an end, you may be thinking about what your children will do during the summer. This is particularly an issue if both parents work. Your child may be asking to go to an overnight camp, and you may wonder if they’re truly ready.

Perhaps you never attended camp when you were a child, so you don’t have a frame of reference. You may not know how to determine your child’s readiness. Here are some ideas to help you to make that decision.

Take your cue from your children. In many cases, they’re able to determine their readiness before a parent can. If they’re interested, they just might be prepared to take on this new adventure!

Has your child spent the night with a friend or relative before? Children who have been away from their parents before are more likely to be good candidates for an overnight camp experience. However, if this is your child’s first overnight camp, see if any of their friends are also attending so they’ll be less likely to experience problems. READ MORE…

Preparing Your Child For Summer Camp

By: Children’s Health

For many, summer camp is a favorite childhood memory. And it can play an important role in a child’s growth and development. Camp can help children build confidence, make new friends, try new activities and stretch their independence. Most importantly, camp is a place where kids can be kids and simply have fun.

But going away to summer camp can also cause some anxiety, especially for first-time campers or camp parents. See tips to help make your camper’s experience a healthy and happy one.

Is your child ready for summer camp?

Every child is different, and there’s no single age when a child is ready for camp. In general, children under 7-8 years old may have a more difficult time being away from home than older children. READ MORE…

The Most Organized Way To Pack For Summer Camp

By: Abby Organizes

This year I sent my boys off to sleepover summer camp for the very first time. Part of me was super excited. They’re going to the same camp I went to growing up. (I was even a counselor there in college!) I’m so thrilled that they’ll get to experience all of the fun activities I got to do every summer as a kid.

But of course, the other part of me was nervous. I’ve never been away from them for so long before. What if they get homesick? What if they accidentally get hurt? Or what if they don’t have everything they need?

When I get nervous, I tend to focus in on the things I can control. I may not be able to pop up in their cabin whenever they’re feeling homesick. And I can’t prevent an accidental injury. But… I can do my best to make sure they have everything they need while they are away!

How to find the “RIGHT” Summer Camp

By: Noel Pardo, Director
Tabor Summer Camp

Rather than having your children hang around the house all day, consider sending them to a summer camp or program. Every parent hopes that this experience will expose their child to a variety of fun activities, new friends, and the opportunity to grow in an active environment. The question is how do you find the right place for your child? Here are four areas to examine as you begin your search for creating a fun summer experience:

 Ask Your Child! Speak to your child about what he/she would like to do and find out his/her interests. It might seem obvious, but some parents select a program that does not interest their child and then mom and dad wonder what went wrong with their choice. Parents should certainly guide their children, but start the process by examining their child’s likes and dislikes. Does he/she like the great outdoors or does the first site of the wilderness make them run for the car? Day or sleep away? Activities, educational, or both? Encourage your child to stretch their limits, while remembering where their passions lie.
Do Your Research! Programs exist that offer traditional camp experiences, educational opportunities, trips, community service, and a whole variety of other options. If you took the time with step one, you narrowed the field quickly and can make quick use of the web and Google to find a host of summer opportunities.
Visit The Camp! Find a time to visit the program and speak with someone who can answer your questions. Most places offer a tour by a full time staff member or the Director of the program. A camp should be able to share all of its policies and procedures with you and answer any questions that you might have regarding the program.
Let Them GO! Once you have decided on a program, the next step is to let your child go and embrace the experience. The best way for him/her to gain the most of the summer is to let them simply live it. My own two children attend the summer program that I direct and I am tempted to check in with them constantly. Yet, I resist and patiently wait to see them at the end of the day. Then I can relive their day through their own words and wonderful facial expressions. Let them share their experiences and stories and you will feel the positive and stimulating effects of summer camp.

Top Benefits of Summer Camp For Children

For most of us, we look back on the seemingly endless, carefree summer days of our childhood with fondness and joy. However, now that we are parents, some of us may have mixed feelings about this season for our own kids. How will we manage childcare while working? How can we avoid the “I’m bored!” comments? Are there any educational summer activities we can get them involved in? Why is our grocery bill and electricity suddenly so much higher?

One of the best answers to these questions can be summed up in two words: SUMMER CAMP! Not only is summer camp fun, but did you know that there are a wide range of benefits of summer camp for children? Here are just a few.

Socializing and Friendship Building 

One of the greatest benefits of summer camp for youth is that they get to socialize and meet new people. 
During summer break, kids often find it difficult to form or maintain friendships with peers their own age. Besides their siblings or cousins, most kids would say that they mainly interact with adults when they are not in school. Not only do kids develop important life skills through socializing – such as sharing, setting boundaries, and problem-solving – they also are learning how to develop strong, healthy relationships through interacting with their peers. A summer camp program provides a safe environment for children to develop social skills, decision-making skills, and maybe even experience the great outdoors. In fact, socialization during childhood may accomplish more for growth and development than reading or eating vegetables! A fun environment like summer camp is a fantastic way to encourage this in your own children, from early childhood into adolescence.  READ MORE…

Planning Work & Summer Camp Schedules

By: Bright Horizons Family Solutions

There is another issue that arises as parents are wrapping up their summer camp planning: Gap Weeks. What are gap weeks you ask? It’s the time where school’s not in session, and neither is camp. What is a working parent to do?! Yes, there’s vacation time. Vacation time should be used, especially because it helps employees recharge, but we also know that working parents are increasingly using sick and vacation time to attend to family responsibilities. That’s not really vacation time.

The great news is that there is a better answer. Many employers allow employees to use their back-up care days during the summer, to fill those gaps when they occur. Based on conversations with my clients, this has historically been an employee favorite:

“This is a great employee benefit. It helped us bridge the gap between the end of camp and the school year and our son loved the ice cream and tacos served the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Also the staff is very friendly and responsive whenever I reach out.”

In fact, with in-home care, you can care for up to three dependents at once, allowing you to leave the commuting to the caregiver! Here are some great at-home activities for summer to supplement your child’s summer fun while being cared for at home.

While scheduling summer camp and care is always a daunting project, there are lots of supports out there to help your employees make the most of their benefits while planning for this time!

10 Tricks To Save On Summer Camp 

By: Super Mom Hacks

Some camps offer early-bird discounts. The week-long scouting day camp my girls will attend gives a discount for registering before May 1, and another discount for registering with a buddy. That’s up to $20 off per camper, for an already-modest registration fee.

Shopping around can also save you a bundle. For several summers now, the girls have taken a month of swim lessons at our community rec center. I was shocked to realize that the cost has gone up nearly 20% this year. And now that they’re way too big for a kiddie wading pool or even the free public splash pools near us, I’m again thinking about a summer pool membership to help us stay cool without running up our water bill.

Problem is, those are also (still) too expensive to justify the cost at the rec center. After a morning of online research, I found another pool in the next town. There, the cost of a month of lessons plus a summer family membership will come out to HALF of our discounted resident rate at the rec center. Plus they offer early-bird discounts, and their pool is actually closer to our house than where we’ve been going for lessons. Win-win.  READ MORE…

10 Tips for Making Friends At Sleepaway Camp 

By: The Camp Experts & Teen Summers

Sleepaway camps are a great way to learn independence and meet new people.

For a lot of people the thought of going to a strange place where they don’t know anyone can be a bit nervewracking.

Luckily it’s easier than you would think to make new friends.

Use these ten easy tips to master the art of making friends at camp.

First impressions go a long way. If everyone remembers you as a friendly person they’ll be a lot more likely to want to befriend you.

Smile, laugh, and don’t wait for people to approach you first. Going up to someone you don’t know can be scary. Remember it’s probably just as scary for them.

Try not to wait for people to approach you without making an effort yourself.

Be the person who isn’t afraid to walk up to someone and start a conversation. You’ll make friends a lot more easily that way. READ MORE…

Are you a camp professional with helpful information that you want to share with parents?

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