Selecting a Summer Camp

Have you been enjoying the warm weather? Thinking summer already? School’s going to be out soon enough and that means it is time to think about summer. Many parents look to summer camps to offer a range of activities and playmates for their children during the summer.

There are two basic types of camps – day and overnight. There are camps designed to meet almost every child’s individual interests and needs – parents have lots of choices when selecting summer programs for their kids. There are camp specialists you can hire to help you choose, websites that list camps and the tried and true – ask your friends where they send their children.

Think of your child’s needs and interests when selecting a camp. What do you hope for your child to take away from a camp setting? If your child is old enough, you might want to have a conversation with them about why they want to go to camp this summer; their ideas have probably changed from last summer’s reasons.   Do a little homework and you’ll find that there are themed camps to meet so many interests – camps that cater to age-groups, learning needs, sports and arts.

Camps should be licensed (in MA camps are licensed through the local board of health department) and have a set counselor to camper ratio. Camps are not required to hire teachers, and often just insist that the e camp leader be a few years older than the oldest camper. Camps often have daily and weekly schedules of activities. Camps run for different lengths – usually by the week, session or month.

Our friends at Home/Health & Child Care Services shared some great
resources for finding the right camp for your child with us. These include their
own FREE referral service – call 1-877-898-1667 or online at  There is also the American Camp Association at or if your child has special needs, check out the Federation
for Children with Special Needs Summer Fun 2012 guide: 
Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Children’s Museum’
very own Summer Mini Camps!  They are a great “first time” camp experience
for your littlest ones or a wonderful chance to dig deeper into a great theme
for your older child. Here is the link to all of this summer’s awesome
With so many choices and ideas to consider it is probably time to start
planning for the summer  – before you hear the “…but I’m bored…” the day
after school lets out!
Jane Rotondi has a Master’s degree in Special Education, a 
Child Development Associate certification and holds additional teaching 
certificates in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. She is
the Museum’s Outreach Manager and Director of Summer Camps. You
can contact her at

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  1. Overnight Summer Camp on May 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    wow wonderful post. I like it and bookmark it. thank you for sharing…………

  2. CVGi on May 10, 2012 at 7:43 am

    The most important thing before choosing summer camp is that your child interests. If the camp you select is not a good match for your child's interests and attitudes then you can face many problems.
    Toronto Summer Camps