Camp for Kids - Not Just For Summer Anymore!by Leslie Newton
Summertime camp is so great, right? Lots of active fun for our kids!
My 4-year-old daughter goes to a fantastic day camp called Tom Sawyer Camp in the Los Angeles area. Even the name is great! She’s gets to experience so many outdoor adventures like horseback riding lessons, swim lessons, playing in the mud, playing in forts, singing songs - good old fashion fun!
But why does it have to end after summer? Well, it doesn’t! More and more camps like this are providing camp activities throughout the year for all the school holidays: winter break, spring break and even 3 day weekend holidays! Some camps even have after school programs and weekend programs all year round! And what’s great about these camps is that their main goal is to provide enrichment activities throughout the year to help children build confidence, both through challenging fun and through social interactions with peers.
The children are put into small groups amongst their own age, with highly skilled leaders guiding them through activities that are age appropriate. The kids walk away with new friends, new skills, amazing memories, and they can look forward to coming back as they move into new age groups and get to do new things! There are so many different kinds of camps giving you and your kids’ lots of options. Some are more interest specific camps focusing on sports, music, art, language, science, you name it! How do you choose one? Do a little research. What made my daughter's camp so special to me is its been owned by the same family since 1974 so there’s a lot of love and care put into it, and they are accredited by the American Camp Association which means they have very high health and safety standards.
So first decide what kind of camp schedule you want for your kids - there are sleep away camps and day camps. Day camps usually offer schedule flexibility from 2 days a week up to 5 days a week - you get to choose what’s right for your family! Many camps even have extended hours which can be a real lifesaver for working parents! The important thing is to plan ahead. Camps can fill up fast, especially if they’ve got a great reputation, so you want to do your research early and get a head start! How do you find these fantastic camps? If your child takes any after school enrichment classes, many times they offer summer and holiday camp programs. You can also look online to find great camps in your area or on websites like kidscampdirectory.com to help you out! The best way, however, is word of mouth! Talk to other parents in your neighborhood.
For years I have been hearing rave reviews about Tom Sawyer Camp from other parents, and so when my daughter was finally at the age where she could join in the fun, we were really excited! The thing to remember is, not every camp is right for every child. If your little one doesn’t like a specific camp, don’t give up. Keep doing research as there are so many choices out there to fit every child’s personality and interests!