How to Make Summer Camp Count - MetroFamily Magazine
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How to Make Summer Camp Count

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The costs of summer camp may seem daunting, especially in today’s economic climate. However, particularly for working parents, camp is not a luxury but an essential part of the summer. With three months of time off from school ahead, do you envision your child lying on the couch in front of the TV all summer long? Do you have thoughts of your teen plugged into an iPod or on Facebook for three straight months—or worse? It is a recurring challenge for all parents.

Perhaps we should rethink summer. Instead of viewing it as endless hours for parents to coordinate activities, view it as part of your child’s education plan. Summer programs offer your child an opportunity for learning new skills, preparing for independence and developing passions that may extend to future careers or life-long hobbies.

Tips on Trips and Camps, a camp advisory program, offers the following suggestions to make teen programs and summer overnight camps part of your child’s education plan.

  • Is your child an athlete? Look into sports specialty programs, a traveling sports trip or a program in sports management or broadcasting.
  • Is your child a nature lover? If he’s outgrown camp, try an outdoor adventure of rock-climbing, rafting or hiking.
  • Does your child love the water? Consider aquatic activities or programs working with marine animals.
  • Is your child interested in other countries? Look for programs with language or cultural exploration.
  • Is your child a born performer? Consider a performing arts program including design, dance, music or filmmaking.
  • Is your child a budding philanthropist? Community service-centered programs may be the answer.

Help is readily available to families picking an overnight camp that matches their child’s interests and needs. A handful of companies provide free consulting and advisory services for families. The service is provided without charge, and families
do not incur any obligation when they request guidance or information.

An example is Tips on Trips and Camps, one of the oldest and largest of these types of advisory services. Established in 1971, “Tips” has advisors in 16 cities, relationships with over 600 overnight camps and programs, and each year provides advice and guidance to thousands of families. The service is provided by phone, email and online, which makes it available to anyone virtually anywhere. For more information and advice, to request brochures and DVDs, or speak to a knowledgeable consultant, visit

Summer camp and teen programs are a chance for your child to have new experiences not found in a classroom. No matter what your budget or your interest there is a summer program to meet your family’s financial and educational needs. Make summer count!

Eve Eifler is the Co-Director, Tips on Trips and Camps.

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