When deciding summer activities for your children, one can easily feel overwhelmed by the amount of options available. A common option to mull over is summer camp! Within the realm of summer camps, one could feel overwhelmed with all the styles, locations or class types! If you’re unsure about sending your child away for part of the summer, a great option is day camp! Below are a few benefits when choosing day camp:
- Stay close to home. For students who may be too young or are too anxious about being away from home for a prolonged period of time, day camp is the perfect balance. Day camp allows your child to get out of the house while still being able to sleep in the comfort of his or her own bed. Day camps that are part of residential camps like JKCP's Xploration Summer Day Camp at Haverford College, also give your child the opportunity to socialize with other students from around the world!
- Chance to create the foundation for successful long-term stays later. Even though your child spends time away from home during the school year, day camp gives them time to truly develop independence and autonomy. Throughout the school year, your child most likely has a schedule they follow constantly: class, lunch, homework, sports and then dinner. Throughout the summer, they have the independence to meet new people, pick which classes or activities they want to partake in and even choose what they want to eat. They have the ability to make their own choices while still being with their parents each evening. Some summer programs offer additional programs for day students like extended day, weekend trips or even the ability to sleepover some nights. These options are great to add on if the student wants to participate in even more programming.
- Strengthen the bond between camp and parents. Having the ability to pick your child up from camp, allows you to meet and build a relationship with the camp staff. Camp staff may give you a daily update with how your child did, how they behaved, and what they learned. This will give the parent a great chance to continue to build those skills during the evening away from camp. For example, a staff member may let you know your child came in first place during the afternoon activity. This gives you the chance to congratulate them and encourage them to continue to try hard and interact with more students through similar activities!
- Help them learn to problem solve independently. According to Steve Robertson, JKCP CEO, "One of the best things you can do for your soon-to-be middle schooler is let him or her make mistakes. When things go awry, instead of swooping in to save the day, offer to talk through the situation with your child." Since they will be returning home each evening, a summer day camp is the perfect opportunity to help your child through any issues that may arise at camp. (Read More from Steve about 5 Ways Working Moms Can Prep Their Children for Middle School)
For those who are on the fence about day vs. residential camp, think about your child’s comfort zone. Where will they flourish? Which option will take them out of their shell, but at a reasonable amount? All in all, day camp is an excellent choice for any child’s summer!