+ Send My Child to a Specialty Camp?

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From SignOnSanDiego.com, a great article by Jennifer Davies.  It offers information to help you decide whether a specialty camp is the right thing for your child.

SOME  TYPES  OF  CAMPS

  • Weight-loss Camps — Consider such a camp if your child is overweight and either you or he is upset about it.  The camps aren’t for kids who need to lose just a few pounds, they are for those who are facing a serious health problem.  Some camps have an overweight threshold.  Body mass index (BMI) is an important measure.  SignOnSanDiego recommends this site to find out what it all means: www.uniontrib.com/kidbmi.
  •  Camps that Focus on Academic Subjects — Explore what interests or needs your child might have.  There are business camps (writing a business plan, choosing stocks, understanding financial statements).  Perhaps a creative writing camp.  Or computer camps.  Science camps.  Astronomy camps.  Archeology camps!  These and more.
  • Camps for Kids with Learning disabilities — there are quite a few; and they are located all around the country.
  • Camps for Kids with Behavior/Self-Esteem Issues — a wide range of camps are available which tackle psychological issues in different ways,  from wilderness programs to programs that improve a child’s sense of self worth and leadership skills.  An organization called Supercamp has locations throughout the country, and offers a combination of learning and life skills in 7- and 10-day programs.
  • Camps for Kids with Medical Conditions — From diabetes, autism, and epilepsy to attention deficit disorder, there are lots of camps designed to give a child the special attention he needs as he has fun camping.  For example, “The Learning Camp” in Vail Valley CO, is aimed at kids with normal or above normal IQs who stuggle with ADD or dyslexia.  The Diabetes Society offers a number of camps for different age groups.

HOW  TO  PICK  A  CAMP

  • Size — It’s not so much the overall number, but the ratio of counselors to campers, says the executive director of the American Camp Association, Mechele Branconier.  Their guidelines for residential camps are: ages 4 and 5, one staff member for every five campers; ages 6-8, one staff member for every six to eight; ages 9-14, one staff member for every eight campers; ages 15-17, one for every ten.   Also, consider your child’s temperament and special needs: these may call for a smaller counselor to camper ratio. 
  • Staff — Find out who are the people serving as counselors — high school students?  College students?  Adults with special training?  Sometimes a more experienced staff is what you want.  What is their average length of service — do they come back year after year?  Might be a good sign.  Also consider whether your child should be at a camp run by high-schoolers.  Also, see how the camp splits up the different ages.
  • Philosophy — Is the camp competitive or recreational.  Which type would be best for your child?  If he or she needs structure, don’t choose camps where there is a lot of unsupervised time.  See how you respond to the camp director — it’s likely your child will feel the same way.
  • References — Of course.  Ask for references not only from parents but also from former campers.  Notice, as well,  how responsive a director is to your inquiries.
  • Finally — Ask about what sort of results you can expect as a result of the camping experience.  Ask what your responsibilities are after the child comes home.

Jennifer Davies has included this list of sites:

Wellspring Campswww.wellspringcamps.com ; SuperCamp www.supercamp.com; The Learning Campwww.learningcamp.com; The Diabetes Societywww.diabetessocitey.org; American Camp Associationwww.acacamps.org ; Camp Resource: www.campresource.com .

Talk to Your Child About Going to Camp

For an article on broaching the subject of self-improvement camp with your child, visit http://tinyurl.com/yjogujm

source: read Jennifer Davies’s entire article at     http://tinyurl.com/yaxqf2d 

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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