When we were kids, life was simpler. Many of us just hung around the house during the summer, played with neighborhood friends or attended a local day camp sponsored by our school or city. Nowadays, there are camps for everything you can imagine. It can be quite confusing—and even stressful—trying to find the right camp for your kids.
Camps can offer your kids experiences and tools to go out in the world and discover who they are and what they want to become. A child can truly grow if given the freedom and chance to gain confidence by exploring new ideas and activities, eventually finding their passion.
If you are struggling to find the right camp for your child this summer, take this easy quiz. You’ll discover which type of camp is the best fit for your child.
Choose one answer.
How would you best describe your child?
What is your child’s favorite subject in school?
B. Physical education
C. Math or science
D. My child likes a variety of classes
What is your child’s favorite activity after school?
A. Music lessons
B. Playing a sport
C. Robotics or science club
D. Participating in a bunch of different activities with friends
Which type of birthday party would your child most likely choose?
A. Dance party
B. Indoor soccer or gymnastics
C. Science museum
D. Every year it’s different
What does your child usually do on weekends?
A. Goes to theater rehearsal
B. Has a game
C. Competes in a robotics or math tournament
D. Mixes it up with bike rides, art projects, and shooting hoops
What is your child’s favorite role in a group project?
D. Fills in wherever needed
What’s your child’s favorite rainy day activity?
A. Listening to music
B. Running around the house
C. Playing a video game
D. Inviting a friend over to hang out
Which would be your child’s dream vacation?
A. Seeing Broadway shows in New York City
B. Touring sports stadiums around the country
C. Visiting science museums
D. Doing something different every day including hiking, playing on the beach, and amusement parks
What would your child hope to achieve at summer camp?
A. Starring in a musical
B. Being team captain
C. Creating an app
D. Trying new things
What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?
A. Movie star
D. No clue
Tally up your answers and match the letter you mostly chose to the type of camp below.
Creative/Performing Arts Camps
Specialty art and musical theater camps focus specifically on the arts. Some may offer a variety of art forms to choose from, such as pottery, woodworking, painting and photography. Others focus solely on one type of art, such as sewing camp or band camp. Musical theater camps are quite popular and typically showcase a production after a few weeks of rehearsals.
Art camps come in all lengths and locations. You can sign your child up for a one-week-long art camp at your local recreational center or find multi-week, overnight art camps where your kids can truly hone their craft.
Sports camps usually consist of only one sport that a child plays throughout the day. The main goal is for participants to improve their skills by focusing extensively on a sport they love.
You can find all types of sports camps like tennis, golf, soccer, baseball, lacrosse or gymnastics. It is also a way for your child to try a new sport or something only offered during the summer, such as surfing and sailing.
If your child loves to code, build and tinker, then a tech camp may be the right fit. These camps make learning about science and technology fun and exciting for kids. They also provide an opportunity for kids to dive deeper into a subject they love, such as working on a science experiment, designing a website or programming a robot.
You can find science and tech camps through local schools, colleges and museums.
Traditional camps are what you think of when you envision summer camp—canoeing, hiking, archery, relay races, swim lessons and crafts. They can be considered “jack-of-all-trades” camps because they offer all types of activities for children to try.
If your child enjoys exploring and experiencing new things—and has not yet found one specific activity that they are passionate about—then a traditional camp is a wonderful choice. These camps are very common and can be found all over.
Some are day camps, while others are overnight experiences where your kids can learn more independence skills. Overnight camps also offer a more rustic, outdoorsy experience with campouts, cabins, campfires and activities on the lake.
Sandi Schwartz is a guest contributing writer and mother of two. You can find her at Happy Science Mom.
Image courtesy of iStock.