- Consider the age of your child. Children between the ages of 8 to 10 are good candidates for overnight camps, while younger kids can benefit from a variety of day camps or local activities (at the library, through the YMCA, or ones you and other parents set up in your own neighborhood) and teenagers can look into becoming a junior counselor or acquiring new skills via certification programs.
- Consider your finances. Day camps range in price from a few to several hundred dollars a week; overnight camps can be in the thousands. Many offer sibilng discounts, but consider how much you’re willing to pay (what the activities at the camp are worth to your child). It can add up to a serious investment.
- Consider your child’s interests and needs. Does your child love arts and crafts? A more traditional day or overnight camp may be a good fit. Are you looking to specialize? There are plenty of options, from camps that focus on horseback riding or sports to ones for kids who want to hone a skill or trade. Does your child have special needs? Make sure the camp is equipped to provide the services he or she requires.
- Co-ed, or single sex? Does your daughter want to go to an all-girls camp? Does your son want to rough it with the guys? Would your tween prefer to be in a place that’s co-ed? There are pros and cons to each choice, and it all depends on what works best for your child.
- Find out what’s out there. The American Camp Association has more than 2,400 accredited camps in their database and the YMCA often has good and affordable summer camp options. Be sure to check out the offerings at your area museums.
- Talk to other parents. Ask a friend – or two! See what they’ve done in the past or are planning for this year. Get as many details as you can, not just opinions, so you can decide for yourself whether a camp could be the right fit.
- What do you and your child hope to get out of the experience? Are you looking for childcare during the summer months, or are you hoping to help your child gain a new skill? Does your child want to hang out with friends or learn a new skill? Are you and your child on the same page when it comes to what camp should to be like?
- What’s the best fit? Does your child need a very structured schedule, or does she function better with a lot of flexibility? Do you want him to gain leadership skills or learn how to be a better team player? Does your child need to learn how to manage responsibilities or is she learning to be more independent?
- What are the counselors like? Are they adults or older kids? Licensed or learning on the job? Do they come back to camp year after year, or is the turnover rate high? Talk to the staff
- Take a closer look at the ones you like best. Just as you would when evaluating a new school, look for red flags like class or group size, scrutinize the camp’s finances, and dig around for details like what options or activities have been cut or added over the past few years. Try to arrange a visit to see what the place is like for yourself, so you don’t have to rely on the brochure when it comes time to make your decision!
City of Parkland Summer Camp
The City of Parkland is now accepting registration by mail or in person at the Parkland Amphitheater for both the Parkland Kids Camp and Parkland Teen Camp.
Parkland Kids Camp is a summer recreation program for children ages 5 to 11 (kindergarten through grade 6) and Parkland Teen Camp is a summer recreation program for children ages 12 to 14 (grades 7-9).
Field trips are taken aboard air-conditioned motorcoach busses to facilities located in the tricounty area such as movies, bowling, water parks, arcades, skating, museums, etc.
For further details, contact GerriAnn Dougherty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 954-757-4129.