Purls of Wisdom

Scheduling Summer Camps: 3 Tips for Planning the Best Camp Experiences

Posted by Julia Yosen on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Like a good restaurant, a popular camp can quickly fill up, leaving you to figure out where to place your kids in those empty summer weeks when staying at home just isn’t an option. You want them to have a good experience without settling for a camp with available openings that might not fit your children’s interests or your schedule.

However, as approximately 10 million children attend camp annually, competition can be stiff as other parents are also looking for best camp options. But don’t stress yet. While time is of the essence, these three tips will help you schedule the best camp experience for your youngsters yet!


Don’t Wait - Register Early

Popular camps sell out fast. Start planning and registering as early as possible or the camp weeks you want may fill up. Don’t wait until the end of the school year to make a decision or you might lose out. According to an American Camp Association Survey, nearly 50% of all nationwide camps reach capacity 2-3 months before a camp starts each year. 

To fill spots quickly, many summer camps open enrollment at the beginning of the year while others allow parents to register their campers at the end of a season for the following year. Stay ahead of the game and register your child for a summer camp in advance. Make sure to research the camp as your maturing adult might have outgrown the camp from last year. Look around, evaluate and, then, make a deposit to the camp of your choice.

Camps Addressing Different Ages

Many summer camps feature programs for younger kids as well as adolescents. These camps may work better for parents with multiple children in different age groups, as it can be hard to navigate more than one camp daily.  

While you might think you have to send your kindergartner to a different locale than your pre-teen, a variety of programs might be available at one source that can interest both children. For example, The Handwork Studio offers specialized camp sessions for ages 5 to 16, featuring diverse classes that match different levels of ability, interest, and dexterity.

With a variety of sessions available at one camp, all of your children can stay at one location throughout the summer and participate in varied programs that retain their interest. And, like many camps, a leadership program is available for teens to prepare them to become camp leaders.  What a great way to prepare your kids for employment the following year when they become too old to participate in camp, but can still enjoy the experience - while getting paid!  

Network with Your Kids

Go straight to the source. Ask your children what they want to learn. Perhaps your son heard about a sports camp that others in his school soccer team enjoy. Contact parents to get referrals and, perhaps, coordinate times when the kids can go together. That’s a carpool in the making!  

Maybe, your daughter has developed a specific interest over the course of the year that she would like to explore further. Camps aren’t all about sports and running outdoors. Many specialize in exploring the interests and skills of a maturing child. For instance, The Handwork Studio offers summer camp programs for ages 5 to 16 centered around fashion and sewing. Younger children can learn to glamorize their dolls while teenagers learn how to sketch and drape. Ask your child what they would like to do so there isn’t any complaining when it’s time to go.

Do you think your child would enjoy attending a sewing summer camp? Register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.


Tags: Summer Camp

The Long-Term Value of Sending Your Children to Summer Camp

Posted by Carrie Metz on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

It’s just around the corner. Summer vacation and those long days of trying to keep your kids entertained. While the thought of coordinating activities for your children over the 10-11 weeks of summer break seems daunting, you’re still unsure about sending your children to camp. Before deciding to keep the kids home and accepting the additional hours of TV watching and video game playing, consider these long-term benefits associated with sending your children to summer camp.


Pique Their Interest in Something New

As most camps offer a variety of activities such as horseback riding, swimming, obstacle courses, hiking and even arts in a supervised environment, your children will have the opportunity to take on new adventures and experiences. By expanding their horizons and putting them in a new, unexplored setting, they grow new interests that can turn into permanent passions.

Yes, They Will Make New Friends

It might sound cliche, but kids do make long-lasting friends at camp. Sharing a similar experience over several weeks can promote tight friendships among campers. Similar to school, children form bonds when sharing activities over time. And by interacting with fellow campers of various backgrounds, your kids will learn about diversity and how to get along with people from all walks of life.

Grow Their Personality

Do you have a child often overshadowed by a louder or more outgoing sibling or neighborhood friend? Summer camps offer an opportunity to start fresh and have your child explore their personality and interests while meeting new kids. Instead of having a sibling speak for them, they can “come out of their shell” to take the lead in conversations and make friends on their terms. You may not even recognize the more mature person that returns from camp!

Reduce Reliance on Technology

Kids spend too much time buried in technology. Camps introduce a variety of activities that children can enjoy while interacting with others on a one-to-one basis. Instead of ‘socializing’ on their smartphone, children can participate in a range of activities that gets them moving and savoring the sheer joy of life. Down the road, after camp, you might find your child prefers to ride a bike or fashion their doll instead of playing video games all the time.

Take Advantage of Their Talents

Have a sports enthusiast or fashion fanatic? Some camps specialize in specific activities attuned to the personality of the camper such as theater and arts, sports and even sewing. The Handwork Studio, for example, offers a sewing summer camp program that gives kids the opportunity to explore needle arts, machine sewing and fashion from professional artists. Your son or daughter can foster creativity and learn lifetime skills in a very social and guided environment. Find a location near you today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

Using Summer Camp as a Learning Tool

Posted by Laura Kelly on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Think back to the days when you attended summer camp, built lasting friendships, and enjoyed the great outdoors. Summer camps have changed tremendously since then. Today, summer camp isn’t just where you go to fold paper crafts and learn how to rough it in the woods. Now, hundreds of different themed camps offer unique learning experiences for children.

While summer camps still allow children to enjoy nature and keep fit with outdoor activities, contemporary camps also offer a wide range of innovative and focused activities to give campers a chance to discover and develop newfound skills. They’ll have a unforgettable experience, while also gaining lifelong skills and learning more about themselves and their capabilities.

If you still think summer camp is only for swimming, campfires, and toasting marshmallows, think again. Ensure your children have an amazing summer with these non-traditional summer camp ideas that focus on their particular interests.


Technology Summer Camp

Are you a coder, app developer, or robotics engineer? Pass your skills and interests to the next generation with technology summer camps.

In a positive learning environment, technology summer camps teach children a variety of new tech skills from learning how to code and designing video games to taking apart a computer and creating a phone app. Many of these camps offer outdoors activities to create a well-rounded camping experience and have campers unplug from technology for awhile.


Performing Arts Summer Camp

Are you the parent of an aspiring actress, musician or dancer? Then, consider enrolling your child in a performing arts summer camp that offers specialized classes in dance, circus arts, music, visual arts, magic, and theater.

Performing arts summer camps give attendees the chance to develop their craft in an exciting and nurturing environment. Many boast many famous alums to give your children aspiration for greatness. For all you know, the time your children spend at camp could be the jumping off point for a successful career and stardom!

Sewing Summer Camp

Today, we rely on technology for even the simplest of tasks. But, it’s still important that children learn the basics of handling everyday life, even in this technological day and age. Sewing summer camps are a unique, fun way for your children to learn the tradition of needle arts and machine sewing. They can learn handwork techniques while socializing with children their own age.

In addition to learning how to sew, your children will acquire real-world, practical skills at sewing summer camp that will prove beneficial throughout childhood and into their adult years. They will develop fine motor skills, make new friends, and gain a sense of independence.

Do you think your child would enjoy spending time in a non-traditional camp setting? Sewing summer camp programs at The Handwork Studio allow children to discover new skills, explore their creative side, and realize their full potential. Your children will learn handwork techniques from professional artists and skilled instructors, whose sole focus is on helping campers feel accomplished and special. Register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.


Thanks for Everything. I will miss everyone!

Posted by Ana Castro on Wed, Apr 06, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

It is with sadness that I am writing to let you know that this is my last week at The Handwork Studio. This past year has given me the tremendous gift of surrounding myself with such a lovely and kind group of families, as well as our team. I am moving on to further my career as a fiber artist. We are in the process of interviewing some wonderful candidates, and I know one of them will take good care of you in the future. 


During my time here, I have seen creativity bloom in a myriad of ways in all ages. From the spark that I see when a child learns their first stitch, to the countless “A-HA” moments I see our talented Machine Sewers encounter, there is an unparalleled level of dedication and craftsmanship that I see fostered in these students. I am confident that this next generation of crafters will be able to carry over their individuality and perseverance to any direction they choose to follow. 

It has truly been a moving experience being a part of this community. I would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting along the way.

~ Ana