Summer Camps – How To Choose
Summers are here and so are summer vacations.
Summers arrive with an enormous amount of joy for kids and an equal amount of exercise for parents. Having a never ending store of energy, parents find it very difficult to deal with their kids while they are on rest. I keep on talking to lot many parents and ask this questions, and surprisingly find most of them looking for an answer to find innovative ways to consume the energy which their kids have.
This is very important as the idle sitting span of kids is very less – they simply cannot sit idle. They keep on looking for ways to play, enjoy, go outside, jump, rock-n-roll and what not! They also want their family members to join them in their enjoyment, which sadly most of the kids miss.
For parents to ensure that the good energy of kids is not wasted or remain underutilized, summer camp is a good way. There are ‘n’ number of summer camp out in every locality which offers multiple ways to engage kids for all ages. Generally run for a period of two to four weeks, summer camps provide the kids an opportunity to learn new things, find friends, enjoy, acquire new skills and get benefited in their idle time.
There are various kinds of summer camps which include activities ranging from arts, crafts, dance, sports, writing, creative skills, music, swimming and what not. You name it and you will find your activity in some of the other summer camps. This often creates confusion in parent’s minds about selecting the right camp for their kids.
After taking a wholesome view of thoughts with many parents, teachers and camp organizers, I have come up with a list of important factors which should be taken into consideration while selecting the camps, and out of all of them, below are the key factors which we as parents must examine, understand and consciously evaluate.
♦ Interest of the kids: As parents, we understand what interests our kids and what not. The activities of summer camp must align with that of the interest of our kids. Since the summer camps are of longer duration, the activities must hold on the the interest of the kid, and the kid must feel happy about joining the camp and add value to his skill.
♦ Qualification and experience of camp staff: The qualification of the cam staff, and their experience in running camps is a must. Parents must carefully talk to the staff and assess their own interests and experience in the activities or subjects offered in the summer camp. Though any business is done for profits, if you get any impression that the camp is just being organized for the sake of earning money without a rich content, you must drop the idea to send your kids to that camp.
♦ Safety Measures: Summer Camps are mostly found in residential areas, either in homes, or rented premises. Being a temporary setup, parents must examine the safety arrangements within and outside the premises. Check out that:
- Security Cameras, Fire safety equipment, Lights etc are properly working
- Security guards are placed at all important areas
- Background verification of all the staff and instructors are done and available with the organizers
- The camp has necessary permissions/authorization from required authorities
- Fist aid arrangements are adequate, and availability of doctor is immediate in case needed
- Transportation mode is safe with security cameras, qualified and verified drivers and staff
♦ Meals & Refreshments: Parents must visit the kitchen area and ensure that the same is clean and hygienic. You must demand for a food menu to understand what kid of food is provided and if your kid is comfortable with that food. In addition, ensure that the water provided is safely processed and fit for drinking.
♦ Instructor to Kids Ratio: Summer camps are generally pricey, and as almost all the parents look towards sending their kids, these camps are huge in demand. This gives them an opportunity to admit more and more kids possible. Parents must ask and inquire about instructor to kids ratio and also ensure that it is high. This is to ensure that your child gets prompt and personalized attention and keeps his interest high, rather than keep on waiting for an instructor for longer time.
♦ Your Budget: This depends on what kind of budget you have planned for what amount of vacation time. If you want your child to be engaged during most of his vacation, look of less pricier options, or distribute it around different activities on different days. You may chose to split between more than one camp for different weekdays. You can negotiate with the organizers that way to get the best out of your budget and bring the best value for your child.
Summer camps give an opportunity to the parents to gift their kids with new skills and experiences which they may not be able to get during their normal schooling. A mindful consideration of the above criteria is important to make the right decision for your kid, to make their summer vacation experience richer and unforgettable.
Let me know your views in the comments.