You’ve been doing your research on camps to enrich your child’s summer, and have visited a plethora of camp websites full of pictures of smiling children. It seems like many camps meet your standards for safety, train their counselors well, and can accommodate specific needs for your child. Still, the question remains, what is a day at camp like?
Since programming and activities are the main differences between each camp, it is useful to begin by thinking about how your child would most enjoy spending their summer days. The truth is, every day at each Leadership Academy camp is unique in its own way. Every day we spot a new flower, a bird of different feathers, or a funny-shaped cloud in the sky. We recommend taking some time to talk as a family about what you want camp to be like, and what your child would like to learn and experience. Do they want to discover a new hobby? Make treasured art projects? Participate in structured sports?
Starting with clear expectations can help shape your search for a camp, and make sure you find the best fit for your child! There are many camps out there, and each is different and special. This variety of options is thrilling for kids but can be a little overwhelming for parents. When researching camps it is helpful to ask the director and staff specific questions about their programming. Your family will therefore know what to expect, and programming often gives a clue to the mission, values, and philosophy guiding each camp.
We’ve assembled some guiding questions that can help you and your family decide on the best camp for your child!
Activities & Schedule
It’s good to know what activities a day at camp will include to ensure the structure suits your child’s disposition and interests. Asking questions will help paint a picture of the camp experience for you and your child.
- Is there a specific programming focus (nature, high adventure, water sports) or does your camp do a little bit of everything?
- What activities do you offer?
- How structured is your schedule? Do campers get to choose the order of their activities and how much time they spend in each activity, or is that decided by staff in advance?
- How big are your activity groups?
- Will my child be in a new group each day, or with the same group all week?
- Is there an activities list, themes list, or schedule on your website?
- Do campers do each activity every day, or is each day focused on unique activities?
- Is there an educational aspect?
- Are there aquatic activities?
- What do you do on rainy days?
- Do you have visitors and special guests to entertain campers?
Once you know about the focus of activities, make sure they are both age appropriate and interesting for your child. Some camps give the camper a choice of activities, while others have a more structured schedule. It is important to make sure that the level of structure is a good match!
What To Bring
Being prepared for activities each day is important to get the most out of camp. Asking what to bring (or not) and what the camp provides for activities is a good way to avoid last-minute stress when you are preparing for your first day!
- Do you have a packing list on your website?
- Does camp have theme days that you will need to pack costumes and props for?
- Is there anything my child cannot bring to camp?
- Will sunscreen and bug spray be available at camp?
- Does camp sell supplies, snacks or lunches in a camp store or canteen? If so, how much should my child bring?
Camps will provide a Parent Guide once you register, but there are usually online versions available if you wish to review it before your child is signed up.
Values & Priorities
You can’t really go wrong in choosing a camp. Most camps will be a positive experience for kids, but taking some time to learn about the values and mission of your favorite camps is a great way to make sure that they share the same passion and priorities when it comes to kids’ growth and development.
- What are some core values of your camp? How are they reflected in your programming?
- Other than new activities and games, what do you hope campers will learn during their sessions?
- Does your camp value community service?
- Do you partner with like-minded organizations?
Leadership Academy programs are focused on getting kids outside to play and appreciate the outdoors. We believe that connecting people to nature leads childrens’ characters to flourish and changes their lives for the better. Our immersive nature day camps are designed to let campers choose their own adventure, with flexible schedules and small group activities focused on encouraging creativity and cultivating inner strength.
We believe in the unique abilities of every camper, and want your child to shine at camp through our innovative and adaptable programming. If your child wishes to learn, grow, learn, and thrive with a tribe of new friends, check out our camps! We are happy to help you decide which camp is right for your child. Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call us at (833) 244-3288.