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