Friendships Start Here: Choosing the Perfect Summer Day Camp

June 18, 2024

Choosing a summer day camp for your child can be exciting, but overwhelming at times. With so many options available, you may find yourself asking what camp is the right fit for your child? Which one will give them the best summer experience? It may surprise you to discover, but there are several factors you can consider ensuring your child has a fun, safe, and memorable summer camp experience. 

1. Safety 

One of the most important factors to consider is safety. Look to trusted organizations with a legacy in the community and in supporting the development of youth. These are exactly the organizations that have a history and a reputation of taking safety seriously, with staff who are trained in CPR, first aid, and a commitment to following all safety guidelines and protocols. Additionally, these organizations have staff members undergo background checks before being hired. 

2. Schedule 

Another important consideration is the camp’s schedule and hours. Do they meet your family’s schedule? Do they offer both full-day and half-day camps? Are there flexible scheduling options to accommodate different families’ needs? Look for camps where you can choose from weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedules, and can also opt for extended care before or after regular camp hours. This will give you the flexibility you need to meet your summer schedule, as well as grant you the efficiency of working with a single camp partner. 

3. Cost 

No discussion about summer day camp would be complete without addressing the reality of price. There’s a budget each family operates within and it’s essential your family finds the camp that fits within it. Don’t forget to check the fine print. You don’t want to be caught off guard by additional fees for special programs or activities that may seem like they’re included in the listed price. Some camps offered in Pierce and Kitsap counties are provided by organizations that strive to make camp programs accessible to all families through financial assistance available for those who qualify. Last, but not least, is the consideration of transportation. Is the camp a 45-minute drive away from your home or 10 minutes? Don’t overstretch yourself driving every day. You can also inquire with the camp providers about any transportation options they may offer.

4. Align with Your Child’s Interests 

Of course, it’s essential to choose a camp that aligns with your child’s interests and personality. If your kid is still learning about what they like and don’t like, it may be best to select a camp that offers a diverse range of activities and options. This ensures that there is something for every child, whether they are outgoing and adventurous or more reserved and creative. If your kid has a specific interest in music, arts, swimming, gymnastics, coding, or a particular sport, then you should strongly consider a specialty camp or summer clinic that will pique their interest and be best suited to them.  


Types of Camps 

With the key factors above in mind, now it’s time to bring it all together and select the type of camp that is the best fit for your family’s interests, schedule, budget, and safety needs. 

Traditional Day Camp: Day camp is perfect for children who enjoy outdoor activities, sports, and games. Day campers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, including swimming, playing games, arts and crafts, and team-building exercises, as well as the joy of getting to tell you all about it on the way home. They make a lot of new friends, learn more about themselves, and have fun in the process. 

Specialty Camps: Sometimes we know very well that a child has a specific interest, such as cooking, dance, gymnastics, or science. A specialty camp may be the perfect fit for them. These camps offer a more focused experience, with activities and instruction centered around a particular theme or area of interest. Kids may spend 2 to 8 hours a day on their interest and fast-track their abilities. Each specialty camp is different when it comes to cost, but your child will always benefit from dedicating time each day to their passions.   

Sports Camps: For children who are passionate about sports, a sports camp can provide an opportunity to improve their skills, enhance their strategic abilities, and develop their physical acumen on any field. Organizations that offer sports teams throughout the year, like the YMCA or Metro Parks, are a great option as they provide a variety of sports camps in the summer, including basketball, soccer, baseball, and volleyball. 

Camp with Child Care Experts: If you have a younger child that needs more supervision, or perhaps you have a kid that suffered socio-emotionally during the pandemic, then you may want to consider setting up your child with a camp surrounded by child care experts who can help your kid discover more about themselves with activities that promote social, emotional, and cognitive development—in addition to making friends. 

Choosing a summer day camp for your child is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Keep an eye on our social media as we’ll continue sharing a variety of camps that cater to different interests and skill levels, with a focus on safety, flexibility, and affordability. By taking the time to choose the right camp for your child, you can help ensure that they have a fun, memorable, and rewarding summer camp experience.