The end of summer is upon us, and children are going back to their regular school and daycare routines. If your child was enrolled in a summer camp, now is the time to reflect on their experience and whether their camp fulfilled your wants and your child’s needs. Consider these criteria — the standards of what a good summer camp program should provide for you and your children.
They Should Have Come Home Tired Out
When a summer camp has done their job right, children are wonderfully tired. Their bodies and brains got the right amount of exercise for the day, allowing them to sleep soundly and be ready for new challenges the next day.
They Shouldn’t Have Been Bored
Just like how the best childcare center curriculums strive to stimulate children, summer camp should not be a boring, loosely-supervised sitter service. A variety of planned activities and events need to be available for kids of all ages to be engaged and stimulated. A creative and knowledgeable summer camp has an inexhaustive list of things for kids to do in summer.
They Should Have Been Comfortable With Their Peers and Counselors
Ideally, summer camps should feel like a second home or fun vacation to your child. With the right group, they should feel supported and comfortable. The American Camp Association actually reports that 92% of campers they surveyed said people at their camp helped them to feel good about themselves. Good! Camp should be a confidence-building and relationship-building experience. If issues between children arose, it’s the job of the camp to help resolve them fairly. And absolutely no camp counselor or employee should have made your child feel unusually uncomfortable — that’s a red flag.
They Should Have Had Some Kind of Learning Experiences
Things for kids to do in summer camp should not be limited to board games and free play. While free and creative play are essential every day for a child, they also need structure and learning experiences to keep molding their minds even when school isn’t in session.
You Should Have Felt Peace of Mind
Simple. You should have felt comfortable leaving your child in the care of camp, respected, and in the loop.
When choosing a summer camp for next year, have these criteria in mind. Did your previous summer camp not fulfill them? It may be time to look elsewhere.