When Choosing a Summer Camp, Don’t Make These Mistakes

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You decide to send your kid to sleepaway camp and of course, you want to make the best choice possible, right?  To help you achieve that goal, here’s a helpful list of things not to do:

What Not to Do When Sending Your Child to Summer Camp

Campers gathered together outside on a nature trip

Sending Your Child Where Their Best Friend Goes to Summer Camp

A common mistake parents make is to pick a camp only because that’s where your kid’s best friend is going.  While it might be great and amazing from your kid’s point of view to spend all summer with his/her very best friend, parents really ought to consider saying “no.” Summers are a unique opportunity for kids to expand their network of friends, expand their interests, and strengthen their social skills

If you send your kid to a summer camp only because their really good friend is going to that camp, you are unintentionally depriving them of an important opportunity for growth. Sure, BFFs can go to the same camp!  But the primary consideration shouldn’t be for that reason alone.


Not Pushing Your Child Out Of Their Comfort Zone

Another common mistake parents might make is to keep kids right in the middle of their comfort zones. Younger children are especially resistant to any type of change.  You know the drill:  they want to hear the same story at bedtime; they want to eat the same foods for dinner, etc. 

Same old, same old, however, doesn’t expand a child’s growth opportunities. Kids grow when they’re challenged. New experiences, fresh opportunities, an expanded circle of friends, and an encouragement to think and problem-solve outside a kid’s comfort zone are what great summer camps offer!


Picking a Camp That Doesn’t Align With Your Child’s Interests

Don’t send your kid to coding camp when she wants to be in a kayak or strengthen her archery skills. You want your child to be engaged, so look for a camp that meets those needs, offering growth and challenges at the same time. 

Talk to your kid about what they want to do this summer, offer some thoughts of your own, and look for a summer camp that can help fit that set of interests. Does she really want to be outside? Then consider summer camps with physical activities, water sports, nature programs, etc. Is he always coming up with new ideas to design and build stuff?  Then maybe a camp that lets kids use 3D printers or that teaches coding is a good choice. While variety and personal growth are the big picture goal, the more a summer camp aligns with your kid’s interests, the more likely they are to throw themselves into it and truly thrive.


Searching For A PERFECT Summer Camp

Do not stress about finding the perfect, perfect, perfect camp. Do you know why? There is no one such thing. Yes, you want to find a summer camp your kid will love, but don’t stress about it. Do responsible research but don’t let it overwhelm you. There are so many fantastic summer camp options out there for kids. 

At the same time, spaces in camps are limited, so you don’t want to wait too long before you book a session, but at the same time you shouldn’t panic if your first choice is not available. Whatever you do, consider your kid’s interests, be willing to push comfort zone boundaries, and know that you are making a great choice by giving your kid a chance to grow in so many ways by providing this opportunity.


Catalina Island Camps

Check out Catalina Island Camps, a summer camp in Southern California. View our program offerings and learn more about summer on Catalina Island!