Explore Summer Camp Options for Kids

Even though the mercury has risen  – and fallen – unpredictably the past few weeks, the calendar shows it is still winter. Summer is months away. But as experienced parents know, it’s time to start preparing for the coming hotter days when your children are out of school for several weeks. It’s time to start talking with your children, aligning schedules and looking at summer camp options.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find out about different camps. Whether your children want to explore a special interest such as the arts or sports, robotics or writing, or if they want a more traditional summer camp experience with different types of activities, there are plenty of programs available. Start your search with our summer camp section and our annual extensive directory of day camp options in the Triangle (p. 45). We also update our online camp directories, adding programs as we find out about them, so be sure to visit CarolinaParent.com/directories/camps as well.

Camps are also making it easier to explore their specific offerings from your own home through websites, blogs and even social media sites. Find out how communication with camps, and campers, has changed over the recent years (p. 37). When it comes down to it, however, nothing beats talking face-to-face with camp staff before dropping your kids off for hours, days or even weeks.

Our Camp & Education Fair Sunday, Feb. 10, provides just that opportunity. A variety of camp and education programs will be represented at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh from noon-4 p.m. with staff ready to help you explore the options and answer all of your questions, so you feel comfortable and confident in your final selections. (If you aren’t able to attend, check out our online Camp & Education Fair to learn about these particular programs.)

Stop by the fair with your children and browse the offerings. It’s the perfect way to start the conversation with your kids about what they’d like to do. Then keep talking, especially if your children are trying something new this summer, such as overnight, or residential, camp. Read more expert tips for topics to cover with your camper-to-be before packing the trunk for residential camp (p. 41). Also find out what to ask prospective camps and talk about with your campers to be sure their summer experience is supportive and bully-free (p. 33).

Camp programs support positive lifestyles for kids, often providing healthful eating options, plenty of physical activity, and opportunities to learn and grow in supportive, inclusive environments. If these values align with your family’s lifestyle goals, find ways to mirror these positive benefits at home, such as joining the Carolina Parent Healthy Families Challenge at CarolinaParent.com/healthyfamilies.

During the challenge, you can track your healthy lifestyle habits for a chance to win great prizes. Go to the Healthy Families Challenge page online to sign up and find links to helpful blogs with tips on incorporating a healthier lifestyle year-round. You and your kids don’t have to wait until the warmer months to get outside, get moving and enjoy the benefits of physical activity!

Crickett Gibbons, Editor, Carolina Parent