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As a parent and someone who has worked with children for over 18 years through Gym & Kid Ventures, I have spent a lot of time thinking about this, not only for my clients children…but for my own. We want our kids to get the most out of their Summer camp experience – for them…and for us. Summer camp is a very special time in a child’s life. It not only provides them with some of the first opportunities to branch out on their own, it helps shape their ability to adjust and excel in structures environments like school. So what does it mean to get the most out of your child’s Summer camp experience? Here are a few tips to think about in getting ready for Summer camp:

1) Safety first…ALWAYS!!! When selecting the best Summer camp for your child, spend some time researching the camps you are most interested to make sure they have a great reputation, experienced and qualified staff and a good camper to counselor ratio. Talk to the facility directors to learn about the camps history, safety standards and staff qualifications. Also ask friends & family…talking to people you trust who have sent their children to a camp you are considering can be the best source of information to you

2) A Balance of Fun, Variety & Development. It’s Summer. Kids want to have fun…and lets face it, you want to have some fun too knowing that your child is having a wonderful, enriching time at camp! Look for camps that offer a wide variety of activities, themes and developmental games to keep your kids stimulated physically, socially and emotionally throughout the day. If you know your child is having the time of his/her life while also developing valuable skills, you’ll be more likely to enjoy your day too.

3) A Prepared Camper is a Happy Camper! Make sure you give your little camper all the “stuff” he/she needs to have a fun day at camp. Pack a backpack with snacks, an extra change of clothes, a little note saying how much you love them, lunch if the camp does not provide one, a card with emergency contact information (also a good idea to write your child’s name on their backpack just in case), and sunscreen and a hat if the kids will be going outdoors. It’s always a good idea to ask the camp director how best to prepare your child for the ultimate camp experience. Also let them know about any special circumstances, medical conditions or dietary restrictions.

So remember, don’t just sign your child up for camp, take the time to give them an experience of a lifetime with the perfect Summer camp!