This week the Patch Moms Council was going to talk about the benefits of summer camp, but ended up creating more questions than answers. It turns out that where to send your kid to summer camp is not such an easy question to tackle.
Some of the moms in our panel didn’t feel qualified to answer this question because they haven’t sent their kids yet (or ever).
Emily: I have always seen summer camps as great opportunities for kids to learn, grow, gain independence and have some fun. I enjoyed going to summer church youth camps, band camps, athletic themed camp and summer gifted programs when I was in school. The only camp I stayed at was church youth camp and it was tough the first time to be away from my family a whole week.
Now as a mom, my children are still pretty young so we have not thought about overnight camp options yet. My daughter attended the Fox Junior Warriorettes Pommie camp the summer before kindergarten and she really enjoyed it. She also enjoyed mommy and me gymnastics before that. My son has taken some swimming classes and we are looking for good programs for golf or martial arts this summer that will work for both children. Since we have a child with some special needs, it is sometimes a challenge to find an appropriate camp, or summer program. I have heard great things about Camp Barnabas from a lot of parents, including, Kurt and Brenda Warner.
Parents can also ask their child’s school about summer activities, and programs. Many universities also have something to offer school aged children during the summer months.
I enjoyed many of my summer activities thanks to the universities in my area.
Michelle: I need help on summer camp too! I totally believe kids should go to summer camp and be away from home for a week. The problem is finding the right one for my son! He isn't into sports, he's OK with the outdoors--but he still wants some video game time. Where is that camp at? I love the Boy Scouts but I think some of their programs are outdated and they are seem to be totally against video game time. (Not to mention you just can't go to their camps without a year-long program). Please send ideas my way!
Denise: I think every kid should go to summer camp, it gives them a chance to be independent and do things they wouldn’t get to do if they were sitting around the house all summer. Being an old Girl Scout myself, I believe in old-fashioned summer camp with tents, canoes and hiking. Modern kids need summer camp even more than previous generations—they need to unplug for a while and enjoy nature.
My oldest is 12 and will be going to summer camp with his Boy Scout troop. Boy Scouts run their program differently and camp as a unit. He's been camping overnight with the scouts--and without me--since he was nine.
My youngest is four this summer, so he will only be going on a family campout. We're heading to Meramec State Park in May for a weekend of old fashioned tent camping, canoeing and cave exploring. I may sign him up for a week of pre-school day camp close to home, maybe at .
Kids in St. Louis County have many options for summer camp. There’s the traditional sleep-away camps offered by both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for their members and non-scouts have church camps or the YMCA’s Camp Lakewood. Musicians might want to sign up for Camp Jam and animal lovers will get a kick out of Camp KangaZoo or the Junior Keeper program at the Endangered Wolf Center. Check out any parks department and you’re bound to find a day camp program.