What Are Summer Camps in America and Should Your Child Attend?

So, you’ve moved to America and now you’re trying to get to grips with all the local customs and this new way of life. Most importantly, you want your children to fit in with the other children and make new friends. The problem is, out of school, what else can you encourage your children to do to meet new people and truly experience life in America.

Well, for one, there’s Summer Camp!

What is Summer Camp?
Often, parents that are new to America can be put off the idea of Summer Camp as they believe it to be a programme for underachieving students. This, however, is not the case. If a child is performing poorly at school – and needs to take extra classes to boost their performance – they will be required to attend summer school. Summer Camp, on the other hand, is a fun holiday full of activities that seeks to teach children important life skills for later in life.

Some camps are dedicated to a certain field, these include: sports, drama, computer programming, science, mathematics and music. While certain camps may offer a little of everything.

How Long do Summer Camps Last?
The duration of Summer Camps in America will vary wildly, depending on the state and whether it follows a specialised field. Generally, though, camps fall into three categories:

Short Camp – These are most popular for those who have just moved to America and those with young families, who don’t want to be separated from their children for too long. These tend to run for one to two weeks, and are good for introducing a child to overnight camping.
Mid-Length Camp – Lasting from three to five weeks, these are the most popular camps in general, offering half the summer holidays away.
Full Summer Camp – Some Summer Camps offer a full summer session that lasts for 7 weeks or more. These are suited better to older children and can be a great taster for what living away from home will be like.

What Are the Benefits of Summer Camp?
Parents who are new to America can feel anxious about Summer Camp, especially when their children can be away from home for large chunks of time. However, attending Summer Camp is considered to be a right of passage in America, that most children try one. Plus, there’s a whole host of benefits:

– Summer Camp is the perfect way for kids to meet and interact with others their age. Many kids meet others in camp become life-long friends.
– You won’t need childcare. If you’re busy at work, camps are a great way to ensure your children are getting looked after.
– They learn amazing skills. From basic camping skills to independence, kids who attend Summer Camp all come away with new skills and knowledge that will help them grow.
– Specialised camps are ideal for children with a career in mind. If your child is aiming for something like a sports scholarship or a career in computing, camps that specialise in these areas will help hone their skills and will look great on college applications.

Overall, the choice to send your child to Summer Camp is down to you, but remember to ask your child what they think. Maybe their new friends are all going and they don’t want to be left out or, perhaps, they don’t want to stay away from home. Summer Camp is only fun if they want to go!

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