how to pick a summer camp

Summer Camps: Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy, Summer Learning & Working

Summer Camps: Are You Getting What You Paid For?

I don’t know about you but the older I get the more and more I believe in the philosophy: waste not, want not.  I’ve gotten to the point now where I can see half a turkey sandwich with one bite in the trash, and mentally compute that the kids just threw away.89. 
Summer camps that make big promises but do not deliver make me feel like I just withdrew money out of my bank account and threw it right in the trash.  I will admit that when it comes to my three I am a bit bourgeoisie when it comes to summer camps.  Forgive me, but the summer slide in learning is real and I don’t want to waste the kiddo’s time. I like the summer camps where they actually engage my children.  I like camps where my children will not only be entertained but actually learn something and are not just babysat. Unfortunately these types of camps are usually expensive.  Expensive for me means: the camps are atleast $150 or more, last for only a week and are half days. In addition these camps occur during work hours. Meaning for us it requires a village to get the kiddos to their camps and picked up by noon. 
To ensure a camp will engage our three and not just babysit I try to determine if the summer camp flyer will deliver on its promise.  A summer camp advertising that they will take my child to visit the museum, zoo, and library for grand educational experiences sounds all good. But will they be guided through these places? Will they be asked questions or asked to think about the artifacts/books/exhibits they’ll visit? Or will they be allowed to run loose with a chaperone ten feet behind texting and checking Facebook and Instagram?  

To avoid wasting hard earned money I try to ask/find out from other mama’s:

  • Where are your kid’s camping this summer? Word of mouth is the best way to find out about reputable camps. 
  • What is the certification or training of the supervisors/teachers/counselors?
  • If it’s a daily summer camp – how much time will be spent on learning (reading, math problems, science)
No summer camp is perfect, but asking these three questions can help me avoid wasting the kiddo’s time and needless to say, our money.

Have you ever felt like you wasted money on a summer camp?

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