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Choosing the Right Summer Camp

Have you begun thinking about which summer camp is best for your child? With some 7,000 camps across the nation, and more internationally, it's no wonder parents find it hard to sort through all the information. Below are some tips to help you find the perfect camp to fit your child.

Day Camp versus Residential Camp: Some kids love the chance to be 'on their own' for a week or two, while others won't sleep well and are nervous away from home. Consider geography as well: a day camp that's far from home means a parent must make the drive twice each day. If your child has special needs, such as medication, consider whether a residential camp will be able to accommodate these needs.

Camp Location: If you're after a day camp, you'll want to find camps in your general area. However, if you're planning on sending your child to a residential camp, the possibilities are endless. Depending on the age of your child, you may wish to send them to an area that they're interested in, or that offers the activities they enjoy. With a high-school age student, you might wish to consider a camp located on a college campus, to give your student a feel for whether they would like to attend that school.

Camp Specialty: From baseball to scuba diving, from music to academics, there are a host of activity camps available. Begin by considering your child's interests, and whether there are any activities in which they - d like to improve. Next, consider your observations of your child's skills 'are there any areas, such as reading or math, in which you would like to see improvement? You may need to compromise your child's dream of a boating camp with your desire to improve his or her study skills. Consider looking for a camp that might serve both needs.

Finding Camps: Once you've narrowed down the camp style and location, there are a variety of directories to help you find possible summer programs. Visit http://www.campsearch.com to search by day or residential camps, special themes, and other options. You may also want to ask other local parents if they have any recommendations, as they're a great source of information.

Choosing the Best: Now that you have a short list of available camps, check to see whether the camp programs are accredited, such as with the American Camping Association (http://www.acacamps.org/). Accreditation means the camp complies with health and safety standards, program quality requirements, and carefully screens their staff.

Making the Final Decision: Request brochures, videos, and other information from the camps that have passed the above requirements. Factors to consider include the length of time the camp has been in business, testimonials, and the camp pricing. Don't forget to include travel to and from the camp in your cost calculations. Feel free to call the camp to ask any specific questions, particularly if you child may need special accommodations. Finally, go over the materials with your child, and choose a camp that you and your child will be comfortable with.

About the Author

SuperCamp is an academic summer camp program based on concepts that make learning fun and easy. Established in 1982, SuperCamp now offers 7 locations nationwide, as well as international camps. SuperCamp has graduated over 32,000 students from all 50 states and 70 countries. More information is available at http://www.supercamp.com.


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