The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Summer Camp

June 13, 2019 Jonny Eberle Comments (0)

When it comes to summer camps, the choices are endless. We all want our kids to have a great summer and come away with memories, friendships, and growth. But where do you begin when choosing a summer camp? Here’s our ultimate guide to selecting a summer camp experience for your child:

Day Camp vs. Overnight Camp

The Y offers two different kinds of camps: day camp and overnight camp. At day camp, you drop your child off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon, and the time spent at camp each day is about the same time they would typically spend at school. This is a great option for working parents and busy families who have evening and weekend activities planned out.

At overnight camp, kids spend a week at camp. Overnight camp offers a traditional camp experience where campers spend time learning skills like swimming, boating, and archery. Overnight camp is an excellent option for kids who are looking for more independence and for families who want their children to experience nature and disconnect from the internet, phones, and TV.

The Y offers Summer Day Camp at YMCA facilities, schools, and at YMCA Camp Lake Helena and overnight camp at YMCA Camp Seymour.

Determine What Your Child Is Ready For

Kids playing at summer camp

Knowing where your child is developmentally is an important factor when choosing a summer camp. Camp is an exciting experience with proven benefits, but parents should consider what level of activity and time their child is prepared for. Are they ready to spend a full day at camp, or is it best to try a half-day camp so they can ease into the routine? Are they ready to spend a whole week away from home? Knowing when your child is ready for a challenge that will help them learn and grow is a crucial step in choosing the right camp for them.

Find a Camp That Fits Your Child’s Interests and Personality

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all Summer Camp experience. Every camp comes with options to customize your child’s week to their unique interests and personality. Does your child love to swim and play water games? Are they creative and love to draw, paint, or dance? Are they a budding gourmet chef or photographer? Do they want to learn how to build robots or would they rather learn how to paddle a kayak? With dozens of different camps to choose from at the Y, it’s easy to find a camp that will interest and excite them.

You can even mix-and-match different camps throughout the summer, allowing your child to sample a sports skills camp at a YMCA facility one week, then spend a week building independence and connecting with nature at YMCA Camp Seymour, and finally brush up on their reading and math skills at YMCA Child Care Summer Day Camp.

Choose a Camp That Works With Your Family’s Summer Schedule

Summer camper doing activities with staff

Summer is a busy time for most families, which is why you should check your schedule when choosing a summer camp. With plenty of options, you can choose the perfect one-week experience to break up your other plans or build a calendar of fun for the entire summer, depending on your specific child care needs.

Prepare for the Best Summer Ever

No matter what YMCA Summer Camp you choose, your child will have a summer they’ll remember for the rest of their life. At camp, kids build friendships, grow their self-esteem, learn new skills, and explore their interests in a safe, supportive environment surrounded by caring adult role models. Regardless of which camp your end up sending your child to, you can be sure that they’ll find a place where they belong.

Explore Your Camp Options

Summer Day Camp at your local YMCA

  • Campers play games and build connections in the morning and choose from specialty options each afternoon.

  • Drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon. Extended care is available to provide more flexibility for working parents.

  • Ages 3-18

Learn more

Summer Day Camp at a school near you
  • Campers keep their brains in high gear with camp activities that incorporate summer learning into games, arts, and service projects.

  • Drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon.

  • Ages 5-12

Learn more

Summer Day Camp at YMCA Camp Lake Helena

  • Campers spend time out in nature, swimming and boating in beautiful Lake Helena and participating in archery, crafts, and games.

  • Drop off in the morning and pick-up in the afternoon at Camp Lake Helena, located in Port Orchard, or take advantage of bus transportation options.

  • Grades 1-8

Learn more

Overnight Camp at YMCA Camp Seymour
  • Campers disconnect from technology for a whole week and participate in boating, water sports, the climbing wall, zipline, archery, sports, outdoor adventure, farm and garden care, and marine science activities.

  • Drop-off on Sunday and pick-up your camper on Saturday at YMCA Camp Seymour, located on the Key Peninsula.

  • Grades 2-12

Learn more

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