What defines a good camp for kids



By OurKids.net        

Children come in all shapes and sizes, and so do camps: day or residential, specialty focus or traditional experience. Whatever the type of camp, all offer a chance to develop lifelong friendships, take on new challenges, learn some new skills and hone some old ones.

There is a camp to match the needs and interests of every child, from the shyest four-year-old to the gangliest teenager. And somewhere along the way—between sunrise swims and s'mores after sunset—campers can also find out something about who they want to become and how they want to get there.

The benefits of campare plenty, from life lessons beyond the classroom and the value of playtime to appreciating nature and building confidence and leadership skills. At camp, you can have your cake, flavoured with a mix of fun and learning, and eat it too.

Start by considering your family's priorities. Is a particular environmental setting important? Are you seeking an educational, sport focused or traditional camp? Only you can answer these key questions and discover, through careful research, what would be the right camp for your child.

Consider the following:

  1. Variety and diversity
    As new camps join those that have been around for generations, as first-time campers join veterans returning for some of the same or something different, the array of experiences offer a key to the enduring appeal of camp.
  2. Programs and activities
    Choices to suit every child's interest— from extreme sports, robotics, school credit courses, nature study, dance and performing arts to more traditional recreational activities like canoeing, hiking and swimming. Many camps also have specialty programs for children with special needs.
  3. Single-sex or coed
    Although all camps have separate cabins for girls and boys, some also have separate sections or are entirely single-sex, which would your child prefer?
  4. Ages
    Four-year-old to teenage campers look up to young adult counsellors as models who look up to adult staff as mentors—kids "grow up" in a special community.
  5. Staff
    Often drawn from a range of fields and backgrounds—embracing and reflecting the distinctive culture and values of the individual camp.
  6. Campers
    All walks of life and faces of the world—varying socio-economic circumstances, needs, abilities and cultural backgrounds.

Article by Ourkids.net, Canada’s source for camps and private schools in Canada.

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