Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 25 By DENISE YEARIAN S ummer day camp is a place where children can stretch their minds, exercise their bodies, develop new interests and forge lasting friendships. For young children, it is a good introduction to the camp experience. For older ones, it is a way to enjoy the activities without the overnight option. For parents, it can be a bit trickier to navigate. The options seem endless, the costs add up and our kids insist on having their own opinions and making choice that differ from your own. Day camp programs vary from one setting to the next. So how can you help make the most of your child's day camp experience? 1. Consider interests. Day camps offer a host of options that include everything from one centralized ac- tivity to a variety of traditional camp fun. Talk with your child about his interests and what he would like to gain from the experience. Would he enjoy an assortment of activities or does he want to concentrate on one skill, such as soccer or art? 2. Ponder program length. Day camps range from several hours to a full day and can run from one week to an entire summer. How long your child should participate in a program will depend largely upon his age, developmental level and previous camp experience. First- time campers would do well starting in a partial- to full-week program. Experienced campers may enjoy one that runs throughout the summer. Even if your child decides to stay at camp all summer, consider allowing a few weeks break between school and camp (and vice versa) for down time. 3. Look at location. If you choose a day camp close to home, commute time will be less and your child may already be acquainted with some of the other children. A day camp near your employer, however, would give you quick access to your child, in the event of an emergency. But if your child needs additional morning or afternoon childcare, you may want to consider a program close to your sitter. 4. Ask about staff. Find out what the camper-to-counselor ratio is. Ideally it should be six campers to one counselor, as recommended by the American Camping Association. What experience and/or training Preparing for adventures close to home (Continued on Page 26)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP February 2017