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Princeton Insider

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Most recent posting below. See other blog postings in the column to the right.

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Summer Camp for Your Child

Tick, tock, tick, tock. You see that end-of-school countdown and you know camp is next. It’s been on your to-do list since spring break, but this year you’re just not sure the best camp to send them. Maybe your kids are finally at the minimum age to actually attend or perhaps they’re aging out of another. Remember all the fun you had at camp? You want your child to have the best.summer.ever with new friends, new experiences, and lasting memories, but where do you start? Once you have your budget in mind, here are some tips to consider:

 

1) Open our Summer Camps Guide as a point of reference. We have day and overnight camps, sports, academics, and most are right in the Mercer County area. If you like using check marks and highlighters to help you make a decision, simply print out the page and start making notes. 

 

1) Your Work Schedule: The first thing you should do is to figure out what schedule you need your kids to be on during the summer, especially if both you and your spouse are full-time working parents. Once you know the hours, that will help you zero in on which camps to start with. 

 

2) What You Need: When your kids are little, you can pretty much have a say in what they do for the summer. Do you want them to learn to swim? Is your objective more socializing before they begin school? Whatever it is that YOU want for your little one will help narrow down your choices. When your child is school-age and starts to have specific interests, talents, or needs (socially or academically), you can discuss the options with them. 

 

3) What They Want: As our children get to a certain age, it’s important to give them some choice (from a list of pre-approved options that fit your budget and your schedule). You want them to have the best.summer.ever and not dread that Monday after the final school bell rings. Start with a simple Q&A with your child about what they would like to spend the summer doing or learning, as long as they understand that other factors like budget, time and location come into play. If your child needs academic enrichment over the summer, but they want to go to a sports or day camp, it’s important to find a compromise that everyone is happy with. And what about overnight camp? Is your child ready for that? Those are all things to discuss together. 

 

4) Interview Your Choices: Once you have a few options, contact the camp to ask any questions that you don’t get answered from the website. Don’t hesitate to ask about emergency procedures, allergy policies and protocols, the camper to counselor ratio, staff training and so on. If you are sending multiple children to the same camp, you an inquire about sibling discounts too. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

 

How did you choose camp for your child? 

 

 

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