Is Your Child Ready for Summer Camp?

Editor’s Note: To test ChatGPT as a tool for finding and writing information, I used it to write the pieces of this article on summer camp. It was an interesting experiment to see the pros and cons of using OpenAI’s search engine for finding and writing information. Please read the article on ChatGPT from TulsaKids’ March 2023 issue for more information about the technology.

As the summer months approach, parents are looking for ways to keep their children entertained and engaged during their time off from school. Sending kids to summer camp is a great way to make sure they’re getting the most out of their break while also learning important life skills. Not only do summer camps offer a variety of fun activities, but they also allow kids to develop leadership, confidence and independence in a safe and supervised environment.

photo courtesy camp loughridge, a boy on zipline

Photo courtesy Camp Loughridge

What do kids learn from summer camps and activities?

Camps are designed to bring children together, allowing them to interact and make new friends from different backgrounds and cultures. Children learn to work together, problem solve and build relationships in ways that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Camps also provide children with the chance to gain independence, as they are encouraged to make their own decisions and take responsibility for their own actions.

Summer camps are also a great way for children to learn new skills and hobbies. Camps offer a variety of activities, from arts and crafts to sports and outdoor games. Children can try their hand at something new, be it painting, archery or swimming. This allows them to explore and discover their interests, while also teaching them the importance of teamwork and perseverance.

Summer camps also foster creativity, as children are encouraged to express themselves in novel ways. They are given the freedom to explore their imaginations and create art, music or stories. This provides children with a safe place to express themselves without fear of judgement.

Finally, summer camps provide children with invaluable memories. Whether they’re sharing stories around the campfire, competing in an obstacle course, or just enjoying a day of swimming with their friends, these memories will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Types of summer camps for kids ages 6 – 18

  • Adventure Camps: These camps often involve activities such as hiking, rock climbing, camping and even river rafting.
  • Art Camps: These camps provide a creative outlet for kids to explore their artistic side. Projects can include painting, drawing, sculpting, photography and more.
  • Academic Camps: These camps focus on academic subjects and offer courses in science, math, language, literature and more.
  • Music Camps: These camps offer instruction in different instruments, as well as group performances and music theory.
  • Sports Camps: These camps focus on a variety of different sports, such as soccer, baseball, basketball, football, swimming and more.
  • Technology Camps: These camps teach kids about coding, robotics, game design, 3D printing and other tech-related topics.
  • Theater Camps: These camps focus on theater and performance arts and offer classes in acting, singing, dancing and related activities.
  • Religious Camps: These camps combine faith-based teaching and activities with other typical summer camp activities.
  • Specialty Camps: These camps cover a variety of topics, from robotics and photography to cooking and leadership.

Summer Camps Color

What should parents consider when sending their kids to camp?

  1. Research the camp to ensure it is an appropriate fit for your child. Consider the camp’s mission, program offerings and safety policies to make sure it aligns with your family’s values.
  2. Make sure your child is emotionally and physically prepared for camp. Talk to your child about their expectations for camp and what they need to do to be successful.
  3. Ensure your child has the necessary supplies and clothing for camp. Check the camp’s website for their packing list and make sure to include any special items your child may need.
  4. Make sure to provide your child with clear instructions on what to do in an emergency or if they become homesick.
  5. Talk to your child about the importance of following camp rules.
  6. Discuss with your child how to handle any potential conflicts or bullying they may encounter at camp.
students dance at Tippi Toes camp

Photo courtesy Tippi Toes Tulsa

How do I know if my child is ready for overnight camp?

Every child is different and will have different levels of readiness for overnight camp. It’s important to consider your child’s individual needs and personality when making this decision. Consider factors such as your child’s age, maturity level, and level of independence. Talk to your child to get their opinion on the idea of overnight camp and whether they would feel comfortable being away from home for an extended period of time. Can they handle new situations and the responsibility of being away from home?

Also, talk to the camp staff to get a better understanding of the specific program and what type of environment and activities they offer. Ultimately, the decision should be made together with your child.

If your child is hesitant, consider a day camp or a shorter overnight camp experience to help them gain confidence and independence. Sometimes having a friend by their side can help your child feel more comfortable and confident in a new setting, as well as providing the opportunity for them to learn social skills and develop new friendships. However, make sure that your child is comfortable with the idea and is excited about the opportunity.


Photo courtesy SoccerCity Tulsa

Should I send my child to a specialty summer camp or a traditional summer camp?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. You should consider your child’s interests, goals and skill level when making a decision.

If your child has specific interests or goals they want to pursue or improve upon, then a specialty camp may be the way to go. If your child is simply looking for a fun and adventurous summer, then a traditional camp may be more suitable.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your child to decide which type of camp is best.

How can parents protect their children against abuse while the children are away at summer camp?

  1. Ask the camp for information about their background checks for employees and volunteers, as well as their policies on the screening of staff members.
  2. Speak to your child about personal safety measures such as not going to isolated areas, not accepting food or drinks from strangers, and what to do if they feel uncomfortable at any time.
  3. Make sure your child knows to tell a responsible adult if they feel they are being abused in any way.
  4. Speak to the camp directors or other staff members to discuss their safety protocols, such as a buddy system, where children have an assigned partner to always look out for each other.
  5. Request regular communication with your child, such as calling or video chatting on a weekly basis.
  6. Consider asking for immediate notification if any incidents or allegations of abuse occur at the camp.
  7. When visiting your child at camp, meet their counselors and counselors-in-training, as well as any other staff that interacts with your child.

What factors should I consider before sending my child to a summer camp or summer activity?

  • Location: Consider the location of the camp or activity. Is it close to home or far away? Is it easy to get to and from?
  • Cost: Consider the cost of the camp or activity. Is it within your budget?
  • Safety: Research the camp or activity thoroughly to ensure it is safe for your child. Make sure it has proper safety measures in place, such as CPR-certified staff and a secure facility.
  • Reputation: Research the camp or activity to make sure it has a good reputation. Check online reviews, talk to other parents, and check with your local authorities to ensure the camp or activity is legitimate.
  • Activities: Make sure the camp or activity offers activities that your child will enjoy. Find out what types of activities are offered. Also, find out if there is a wide variety of activities to keep your child engaged and entertained.
  • Supervision: Find out what types of supervision are provided. Is there adequate staff-to-camper ratio? Does the staff have sufficient experience and qualifications?
  • Food: Ask about the food that is available. Is it healthy and nutritious or are there unhealthy or sugary snacks?

March 2023 Ready For Summer Camp Pin

Categories: Parenting, Summer Camps