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Helpful Tips For Sleepaway Or Overnight Summer Camps

Aug 17, 2007
An overnight summer camp is a supervised program for children and teens conducted during the summer months in most countries; children and teens, called campers, who attend camp, participate in a variety of activities, many of which are special interest. Choosing an overnight summer camp for your child, teen or other children deserves a great deal of consideration and attention to even the smallest details. The variety of camps available today is almost innumerable, meaning there will be some specialized camps that may have availability left even into the summer.

The more artistically minded might consider arts and crafts, clowning, drama, photography, or dance to be important elements of having a well-rounded camp experience. Each summer, more than 10 million children and counselors attend day camps and overnight summer camps across the country. Beyond the traditional sports - baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, football, and more - there are camps for outdoor enthusiasts that can offer horseback riding, hiking, camping, fishing, and even rappelling.

Some camps have a targeted focus like religious study, academics, and competitive sports. Basically, if you can think of any subject of interest, there's probably a camp that specializes in it. There are overnight summer camps that are co-ed camps, boy's camps, girl's camps or brother-sister camps where boys and girls may have separate venues and activities.

Consider these industry-recommended guidelines - for smaller children ages 7 and 8, there should be one counselor for every six campers; by age 15, there should be one counselor for every 10 campers. Get to know the camp director from an in-person visit to your home if possible, phone conversations, email or other correspondence. College credit courses are very popular at overnight summer camps that typically offer students the opportunity to explore a pre-college experience; usually, students entering grades 10 through 12 stay in college dormitories and attend summer classes run by the college faculty.

Camp tuition can be expensive; similar to travel insurance, there are now insurance policies for families sending their children to overnight summer camp to cover last minute cancellations, homesickness, medical emergencies and emergency evacuations. Visit the camp; you can view campers and counselors in their element, witness activities as they occur, and just obtain an overall feel of the camp, something that cannot be accurately experienced when the camp is closed. Children or teens could typically explore subjects new to them like marine science, photography, creative writing, community service, drama, magic, scuba diving, video production, comic book design, crime scene forensics, cooking, yoga, rappelling, etc.

Camps should have at least a 40% to 60% return staff ratio, which shows that the camp is seen as a good place to spend a summer. Although camp counselor jobs don't usually pay very well, usually minimum wage or less, counselors receive free room and board; many take the job primarily for the camping experience. Check the camper-counselor ratio to determine the number of campers for each counselor.

Non-profit camps often range from $1200 to $3000 for four weeks and $2500 to $5000 for eight weeks. Specialty overnight camps can range from $500 to $1000 per week depending on the program. Try to determine whether the director incorporates a similar philosophy to running the camp as you do in parenting your child or children.

Look over and evaluate the brochures and promotional materials; read the fine print. Care packages sent with children or teens, by their families, can help any homesickness subside. Typically an overnight summer camp experience will leave a lot of wonderful memories for the child or teen camper. If you think there's a possibility you might have to cancel an overnight summer camp reservation, camper's insurance would be a good idea.
About the Author
For more information on choosing the best overnight summer camp and finding the best sleepaway or overnight summer camp online and offline go to http://www.OvernightSummerCamp.biz a nurse's website specializing in overnight summer camp tips, help, facts, free tuition resources, including information on overnight summer camp reviews
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