As the school year winds down, parents’ minds turn to what to do with their children during the summer. Even if a parent is home, having the kids around full time is not something good for parent or child. For working parents, there aren’t many other alternatives to summer camp. Luckily, there are now a variety of choices from day camps to sleep-away camps, part-time and full-time camps. Making the decision about the best one for your child can, however, be as confusing as selecting a college and sometimes almost as expensive. Many camps open registrations in the winter and enrollment can close up before school ends. Deals are also usually offered for returning campers, multiple campers, and early registration campers.
My daughter is trying a new camp this year. She’s going into 7th grade in the fall and will be a pre-teen camper at the Driftwood Day Camp which is a highly-rated camp. As part of the program, campers take many overnight trips to places such as Hershey Park, Mystic Seaport and Aquarium, Gettysburg, Newport, Penn Caves, and Dorney Park. Shorter trips include the Bronx Zoo, Medieval Times, and Six Flags Great Adventure.
Previously, my daughter attended Hofstra Summer Camps and enjoyed the experience especially the wonderful counselors and programs, but she wanted to change this year. Her very first camp was Thomas School of Horsemanship. She also loved it there, but it became very expensive and her interest in horses lessened as she grew older. The only camp that she didn’t like was Camps-R-Us that was based at her old school. Although the price was reasonable, she had a problem with one of the counselors.
Starting a new camp can be much like starting a new school, something my daughter also did when she switched from Catholic School to public Middle School this past year. It can be intimidating at first because people may know one another from previous summers, but camp is a different environment from school. Friendships are made more easily as campers participate in fun activities. It’s also a great learning experience because kids, as well as adults. learn easier when they are enjoying themselves. At Driftwood, campers also must leave their cell phones and other anti-social devices at home to unplug and socialize with others.
Although most people consider summer camps as places for kids, there are camps that cater to adults. Driftwood is actually sponsoring a one-day Camp Mom experience this July. Although I’m working that Saturday, I may consider it next year. There are also adult sleepaway camps and camps for adults and their children. An article about adult summer camps was featured in this New York Times article and this Travel and Leisure story. Below are some links of camp directories of all types. Here’s hoping to a great summer for you and your kids whether it includes a summer camp or a staycation at home.