Summer seems so far away but the best time to plan for camp is now. If you are entertaining summer camp for your kids, don't miss the FREE:
Marin Summer Activities & Camp Fair at Dominican University, San Rafael on Sunday, March 4, 10am - 1pm (free pizza lunch!)
Summer Camp Resource Fair at County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Saturday, March 10 from 11am to 3pm
The French American International School has an awesome online resource for the camps you will likely meet at the two fairs mentioned. Both events offer information about local day camps, sleepaway camps and other summer enrichment opportunities.
But camp fairs can be very overwhelming with endless rows of camps vying for your attention. You can reduce the stress if you have a plan in place.
Here are 5 helpful tips:
1. Think about your child's interest and temperament. Have them help you write a list of what he/she wants most out of the summer. Is it art or science or technology? Your kids may opt to be with friends over a specific interest. They should have input on what they over the summer. Immediately, you can narrow down your selection by researching the type of camps your child will benefit from. Check out Ronnie's Awesome Summer Camp Guide for ideas on the camps that interest them most.
2. Plan to block off your morning from other activities. Give yourself time to explore your options so you do not feel rushed. This is a rare chance to see the kind of camps out there, meet counselors, and discover what is available all in one place.
3. Discuss where your kids want to go in advance. When you see the camp(s) that interest you; observe how the counselors interact with your child and spend more time asking questions.
4. Prepare to ask questions. Is your camp accredited with the ACA? Camp to counselor ratio? What are the daily activities?
5. Think about how your summer routine fits with the camp. How far away is the camp? Do they have a bus or carpool service? Know how much you can afford? Some camps have scholarships available if you cannot afford the full amount. How long the camps are open? Do they have childcare available before or after hours?