How to Choose The Best Summer Camp For Your Kids

Not only do summer camps provide a long list of fun activities and excitement for kids, research published in Psychology Today found summer camps offer adolescents a wide range of psychosocial benefits in addition to a boost in self-esteem, the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills and responsibility.

From day camps to adventure camps, there's a summer camp out there that will bring out the best in your child.

Day Camps
Often tailored to the needs and interests of young children, these types of summer camps are good for kids who aren't quite ready for an overnight camping experience.

Day camps offer kids the chance to try new activities and sports, and they're great for teaching youngsters about independence, sportsmanship and working with others.

The type of activity at each camp will vary, so be sure to find out ahead of time which type of activities your child will be doing here.

Most day camps offer young campers lunch and snacks throughout the day. Some day camps offer transportation to and from central locations, while others require the parents to pick up and drop off their children each day.

Overnight Camps
Overnight camps are great for kids who are old enough and ready to spend some time away from home.

Choosing the right camp for your child depends on a handful of factors including their maturity level, age and personal interests.

Overnight camps offer a variety of activities such as swimming and hiking to more competitive activities like rock wall climbing.

While some camps offer a traditional camping experience filled with singalongs, campfires and similar things to try, others offer special interest activities such as the performing arts, math or science.

The counselors at the overnight camp you select should have the proper certifications and licensing to work with kids. However, some camp counselors might be volunteers. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask staff about their qualifications.


Family Camps
These types of summer camps are designed for both fun and family bonding.

Many summer family camps provide on-site meals, lodging and a range of activities the entire family can enjoy. Not only are family camps designed for spending time with your loved ones, they're designed so your family can meet other families.

Some of the things to do include horseback riding, swimming, sculpting and painting. Additionally, these camps host family-bonding activities which can range from storytelling around nighttime campfires to relaxation time and fitness activities like yoga.

Family camps located near national parks also offer environmental awareness programs which include visiting nature preserves and observing nature.

Lodging can be as basic as tent camping or cabin living, or as luxurious as inn-style hotel stays.

Packing will vary according to the type of family camp you choose. Families participating in an outdoor camp should bring essential items, including sunscreen and insect repellent, as well as basic camping supplies.

Adventure Camps
These types of camps are geared toward older kids with a strong sense of independence who enjoy extreme sports and similar activities.

Camp activities range from day hikes and swimming to more thrilling activities like bungee jumping and rock climbing. And there are even specialty camps that focus on one activity such as kayaking, scuba diving, rafting and canoeing.

Most camps work with accredited instructors, and campers do not need prior experience. Most camps also provide all of the gear and equipment your child will need, too; however, if your children already have their own equipment, they can take it.

While most of the things to do at adventure camps are action-packed, there are more calm activities like crafting and arts and self-esteem building activities during down time