It has been well documented that summer camps have a lasting impression on a childs character, and if he has been exposed to the right summer camp it would have helped him build his confidence and self-esteem. He would also have learnt valuable life skills and made many new friends. Summer camps provide the opportunity for children to learn and have fun at the same time while being under supervision.
But when you choose a summer camp you got to remember a few things. You should first start with a self-evaluation. You have to ask yourself why are you sending your kid away to a summer camp. For that you have to have a fair idea of your kids temperament and maturity. With a clear idea about this you have to figure out what exactly are you looking for in the summer camp that can benefit your child. This would involve some amount of research. And always have your child help you in deciding on the summer camp, as he is the one wholl have to spend the time over there.
If your kid is below 10 years it is better not to send him to a sleepover camp. Since they are not very familiar to the ideas of separation and independence, a day camp can be the best option for them or else it can become a bit too difficult for them to cope. However you should have your kid allow a say in this and hear him out patiently. He might have an important point to make.
You can find out about camps by talking to parents who have already sent their kids for such camps. They can give you some suggestions and provide you with a track record of the particular camps that you have shortlisted. Any bad camp will be quickly reported. You can also go and check the camp before the event starts just to have a basic idea about the camp. The counselors in a camp are always very important. Fin out if they are competent. Getting hold of a copy of the camps certification can also relieve you from many of your doubts.
Private sleep away camps can be expensive and especially if they are taking in small number of campers then the cost can really be steep. On the positive side though you can be assured of your kid getting the maximum care and individual attention. But if you have some financial limitations you can opt for one of the several non-profit camps or the Federation camps. Generally they do take in more campers (approximately 400) but they divide the bunch into smaller units. So the end results can be pretty similar to a private camp.
While selecting a camp you should also consider the location of it. Not only should you take in to account the distance of the camp, as that would be important if you have to visit your kid, but also the security, medical facilities available and the general environment of the camp.
The kind of activities available in a camp is also a point to take into account. While some camps provide a whole range of activities from individual and group sports like tennis and soccer to outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing, there are also those camps that focus on a single area like horse back riding or gymnastics. Such camps are referred to as Specialty camps.
There are also those camps that emphasize on vegetarianism and weight loss.
Pick any one of them as long as your kid enjoys it and you feel that you get value for your money.