Learn how to choose a summer camp that is good for your kids and/or teens.
For kids, summer vacation means freedom from the classroom, long days of playing outside or, for many, a time to head off to summer camp. From California to Connecticut, thousands of children and teens spend anywhere from a few days to several months at summer camp. But with thousands of summer camps nationwide, how is one to choose?
There are excellent kid's summer camps throughout the United States. Camps in regions with cool summers and ample outdoor opportunities -- parts of New England and Appalachia, for example -- are popular, but you should choose a summer camp's location based on the individual needs of you and your child. Transportation costs or being a long distance from home might be a factor, for instance, or perhaps your child's personal tastes would make a certain location ideal.
Summer camps for teens range from day camps for the disabled to overnight camps for those interested in robotics. Many teen summer camps are geared toward creative or academic endeavors in preparation for college, while travel and adventure camps target teens interested in exploring the world. Choosing summer camps for teens depends heavily on your child's interests as well as your budget; overnight camps can cost thousands of dollars per week.
A number of websites specialize in providing summer camp ideas for parents and children. Sites such as Summercamp.org, Summercamps.com and KidsCamps.com have searchable, well-organized databases that can help you learn about activities offered at different summer camps. Alternatively, your local parks and recreation district should provide information about local summer camps and overnight camps. You can also ask other parents for suggestions and opinions on kid's summer camps.