The Parent’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Summer Camp
Get tips, and a special discount on Friends' Central Summer Programs!
On the hunt for a summer camp? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options, the process, and the anxiety of making just the right choice.
But don’t stress! Here are some helpful tips for making the decision — and the summer itself — easier, from the folks at Friends’ Central Summer programs.
Step 1: Research
What kind of camp are you looking for? Day camp? Specialty camp? Where are you located, and how far are you willing to travel? Do you need transportation, after care, or any other supplemental services?
Take some time to go over the information, jot down some questions, and talk to your child! See what your camper wants to experience this summer, and let their advice help guide your decision-making.
Along with the wealth of online information, be sure to speak with other parents from the area that may have recommendations and valuable insight. You can also go to a number or local camp fairs in the area where representatives are available with more information!
Step 2: Schedule a Tour
Once you have narrowed down which camp interests your camper and are ready to learn more, you can easily schedule a time to visit the camp location and speak with one of the staff members. Potential campers are encouraged to attend the tour if possible! This gives them a chance to ask questions of their own, and see how comfortable they are at the location.
The top five questions to ask during your tour:
What is the daily schedule? Will my camper have any choice in the activities?
Who are your staff members, and what is the camper to staff ratio?
Do you have a Registered Nurse on staff?
What supplemental services do you offer? (i.e., extended day, transportation, lunch)
How do you stay in communication with parents during camp?
If you cannot schedule a time to tour the campus, do not hesitate to reach out to the camp office. The directors and staff members are readily available to answer any and all questions in order to help you feel comfortable and excited about your decision.
Step 3: Register
Be sure to take note of all deadlines so you don’t lose your spot with a bunk filling up. Many camps have their application online, so you can easily register for camp and any additional services.
Step 4: Camper Packets and Orientation
As camp draws closer, you will receive more information about the summer, including calendars, counselor information, etc. If your camp offers an orientation, this is another chance to view the campus before the beginning of the camp season.
For parents (or campers) who are nervous, this is a great opportunity to speak with the nurse over any health related concerns, meet bunk counselors, and fellow parents!
Step 5: Camp Begins
Get excited! As always, if you have any questions or concerns you can contact the office or directors.
camp staff are here to make sure your first year of camp goes smoothly, so please do not hesitate to reach out!
The first year of camp for any aged camper can be daunting for parents, but with so many options and resources available, parents have a great opportunity to find the perfect fit.
Friends and family are an excellent resource. The Keatons, whose chidren have attended Friends’ Central Summer Programs camps for many years, said, “We love the positive, energetic, imaginative staff and programming that keeps our children engaged all summer. There is always something to look forward to each day, and an exciting theme to anticipate each week. After a full day of play and discovery, they can’t wait to tell us about their adventures. We barely get out of the parking lot before they’ve started to nod off…we call it #TenderfootTired.”
With varied activities throughout the day, campers are given the opportunity to explore their interests. From Tenderfoot Camp to the Basketball, Reading, and Math Clinic, Friends’ Central offers specialized and academic options from age through through age 17.
Swimming, archery, ceramics, and solar-powered s’mores are just a few of the exciting activities we have offered throughout our 90+ proven years. Each Summer Program is managed by FCS teachers, who are committed to providing a happy, enriching, safe camp experience for every child.
Early Start Camp runs the week of June 18 — 22. The main day camp session runs from June 25 — August 10, and Might Maker Camp runs the week of August 13 — 18.
Our dedicated camp staff, readily available to answer all of your questions, is waiting to hear from you!
Want to know more? Visit Friends’ Central Summer programs online for more information.
Main Line Parent and Philadelphia Family readers get a special deal! Use the code TBT100 for $100 off Tenderfoot (ages 3-6) or Trailblazer (ages 6-12) Camp.
FCS also offers a discount for new Tenderfoot campers; you can save up to 15 percent if you book for four or more weeks. use the code TBT100 for $100 off your camp selection.
Photographs courtesy of Friends’ Central Summer Programs.