Summer Camps? Yes or No? Overnight or Day? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-09-2011, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Summer activity season is upon us and a lot of parents are scheduling things for their kids to do.  In my town day camps are all the rage, from circus type acrobatics to zoo camps to science camps, and parents scramble to get their kids into these before they fill up.  

 

When I was growing up, most of the kids I went to school with went away to camp for the summer, coming back tanned and with a host of stories about what happened at camp.

 

Do you send your kids to summer camp? Is it a day camp or a sleep away camp?  Or do your kids have free summer time?

 

How do you feel about summer camp?


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#2 of 6 Old 06-09-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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I work outside home so  my kids go to camp. I do take a lto of time off in teh summer but I can;t take 3 months off. My kids went to day and overnight camps. Music overnight camp was required in their program. Computer overnight camp was something my son wanted. He learned amazing programming skills there.  Out day camps has some overnight camping trips. When they are hoem with me and DH we do local trips

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#3 of 6 Old 06-09-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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A lot depends on the age of your child, the temperament of your child, and the type, and length of camp. Also, are there camps geared toward their specific interests? I wouldn't send a child to camp just to "socialize" them, or get them out of my hair.  Colleges often offer camps for older children, and some may also include college credit, and scholarships.

 

if there is a local day camp available, see if you can observe and evaluate their program ahead of time or find families who've sent their kids. If they don't have a fully-rounded activity schedule and a lot of free time without a lot of manipulatives and creative play materials, plans for foul weather activities, etc., I wouldn't be that keen on sending my child there.  I wouldn't feel comfortable sending a child to an overnight camp until about 4th grade.

 

I had a sorry experience at a local day camp with my then (very introverted) 6 year old, discovering that rain cancellation of the outdoor activities meant the kids played board games all afternoon, and he just sat by himself at a table. After that, I felt my own programming at home was a great deal better. The same child, older, didn't care for our outdoor summer church camp either. When he went to high school, and discovered a science camp at a college near us, he was very excited, enjoyed it, and has returned every year. He is one who does make good  creative use of free time, however, and has good self-discipline.

 

My younger son started to go to that same week long church camp every summer, and loves it! He's also involved in a week long music camp, and is attending the same science camp as his older brother this year.

 

It's definitely not a "one-size-fits all" scenario.

 

And we're looking forward to going to Science camp seminars tomorrow to see our sons' presentations of their projects and research, and HAVE enjoyed a few days to ourselves for a change!

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#4 of 6 Old 06-09-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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I have had WONDERFUL experiences at camps as a camper & working at them. I think they can be a really great thing but I think there does need to be some judgement made or whether or not the child is ready for it (especially with overnight) & if it is the appropriate camp for their interests/needs.

 

My own personal opinion is that the overnight camps are a better experience. I've worked with both day & overnight camps. I have just found that for the most part the overnight camps have better behaviour from the campers overall (not sure why but it's probably a variety of factors), they seem to develop more of a relationship with other campers & fall into more of a routine. A lot of the day camps I have seen though are run at VERY busy recreational facilities & I don't know that the ratio is what it should be. The counsellors also seem to be younger.


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#5 of 6 Old 06-10-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I loved going off to camp as a child. One year, it was bad, but the rest were really good. 

 

But I live in the south now and it is so hot in the summer, I do not see how summer camp can possibly be any fun. 

 

However, my daughter is about to leave for 6 weeks of camp, but she is going to the other side of the country for it and she is 15. We never could have afforded this when she was younger. 

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#6 of 6 Old 06-10-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

I have had WONDERFUL experiences at camps as a camper & working at them. I think they can be a really great thing but I think there does need to be some judgement made or whether or not the child is ready for it (especially with overnight) & if it is the appropriate camp for their interests/needs.

 

My own personal opinion is that the overnight camps are a better experience. I've worked with both day & overnight camps. I have just found that for the most part the overnight camps have better behaviour from the campers overall (not sure why but it's probably a variety of factors), they seem to develop more of a relationship with other campers & fall into more of a routine. A lot of the day camps I have seen though are run at VERY busy recreational facilities & I don't know that the ratio is what it should be. The counsellors also seem to be younger.



I agree on this. The overnight camps were well run and relaxing and fun with well trained camp. Day camps were rushed, over crowded, and staffed by inexperienced teens.

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