Eve sat down to discuss the benefits of summer camps and programs for children today, advice for parents and how Tips on Trips and Camps can help you find the right program for your child. Click to listen!
Tips On Trips And Camps
Summary: Learn about the current trends in summer overnight camps & programs for kids ages 12 & under. Tips on Trips and Camps can help you find the camp that fits your child’s interests.
Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) March 02, 2015
There are more opportunities than ever for kids ages 12 & under to participate in all types of different summer programs. Eve Eifler, co-owner of Tips on Trips and Camps, says, “Traditional camps are still the prevailing choice for parents. Even within that framework, however, specialty instruction can be found.” A parent might want designated time and instruction in tennis or football, for instance, if their child is going back to a fall sport tryout.
Co-owner Carey Rivers adds, “If kids are not interested in traditional camps, because of an aversion to the outdoors or to bugs, there are a multitude of specialty camp offerings.” Housed on boarding school or college campuses, opportunities exist in forensics, filmmaking, culinary arts, emergency medicine, creative writing, or a wide array of the arts.
Food allergies used to be a major hurdle in the decision for some parents to send their children to camp. Canadian camps were way ahead of the curve on dealing with food allergies, but now camps in the Northeast especially are catching on and making accommodations for kids with all types of allergies. Eifler says, “While directors have always taken seriously the charge they have in caring for others’ children, this new layer of responsibility is being met in all sorts of new and formal ways. I visited one camp that has professional chefs trained in cross-contamination and registered dietitians on staff to prepare menus. This camp is peanut, tree nut, shellfish and sesame free and can accommodate campers with dairy, nut, wheat, soy, egg and fish allergies.”
Camps used to be fairly consistent with their communication policies, allowing only letter writing between camper and home and having a “no electronics” policy. Rivers said, “Many camps now allow emails between camper and parent so that campers can have more immediate contact with their parents. And, many camps have photographers taking pictures of the campers and posting daily to the camp website.” Some directors are even loosening the ban on cell phones. If a parent is more comfortable with a camp where a kid has limited use of their cell phone, then there are plenty of options out there. I visited a camp last summer that takes cell phones away for the first week in order for the kids “to bond” and then allows limited use thereafter, but only at certain times of the day. Rivers continues, ”But, for those parents who still believe in no screen time at camp and snail mail only, there are still many traditional camps that have remained true to the ‘back to basics’ formula.”
Some parents are reluctant to allow a child to go the whole summer without academics, commonly known as the “summer brain drain.” To answer this call, there exist many options for summer school enrichment, from the remedial for the struggling student to higher order learning for those kids who want to remain fully engaged over the summer. Eifler shares, “We have seen an uptick in summer programs for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). At one camp, campers can work alongside architects, videographers, builders, engineers, and designers on collaborative projects that serve as the centerpiece of their camp session. One group of campers built the water polo goals for camp and another group built an entire underwater city.”
Since some kids begin overnight camp at the age of 7, they may be looking for a change in atmosphere by the age of 11 or 12. Other kids skip the traditional camp experience altogether, but may be interested in some sort of focused travel. Rivers says, “Teen trip organizations have accommodated this growing trend by offering marine biology, community service, and biking trips (to name a few) for 11 & 12 year olds. Some provide a base camp model whereby the camper can spend 50% of their time in camp and 50% on out on trips.”
Eifler concludes, “There is a summer program out there for any type of child. If your child has never gone to camp and is looking for something out-of-the-box or if your child has gone to camp for years and they are looking for a change, do not fear. There is a camp out there for everyone!”
Tips on Trips and Camps, Inc. is a FREE service specializing in overnight summer experiences for children ages 7-19. Call 866.222.TIPS or visit our website at www.TipsonTripsandCamps.com . Once you register, a local advisor will follow up with you immediately. Rivers adds, “you know your child and we know the camps. Together, we can find the RIGHT match.”
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Camp Activities, Assigned or Chosen.
Which is Best?
When researching which sleep away camp would be a good fit for your child one feature that should be considered but is often overlooked is how the campers’ days are planned. There are two approaches to camp scheduling and either is a good option depending on you and your child. Camps with a CHOICE SCHEDULE have the campers choose the activities. At TRADITIONALLY STRUCTURED camps the activities are assigned by age group or bunk.
Sometimes when I consult with a family the mom will say, “My child works so hard in school and her time is packed with obligations. I want camp to be about what is important to her.” That family would feel quite comfortable with a camp where the campers choose the activities. A budding tennis player can spend every day on the court or a child who is passionate about arts can focus on the many arts projects they will find in the arts barn. This style is particularly good for a child who is self directed and who can advocate for themselves. Alternatively, a family who wants their child to be exposed to everything camp has to offer might be happiest with a traditionally structured schedule. This is especially good if a child is tentative or gets overwhelmed with too many decisions. This structure gives campers a broad and balanced exposure to all their offerings and builds on new skills in a variety of disciplines.
What are the pluses and minuses?
- + Kids can build skills in areas of high interest by choosing them more often
- + Kids feel empowered by controlling their activities
- + Friendships based on shared love of a specific activity are made
- – Kids who are reluctant to try things they have never done might not take advantage of all a camp has to offer
- – Bunk cohesiveness is more challenging at this style of camp
Traditionally Structured by the Camp
- + Everyone will be exposed to all the camp has to offer
- + Kids learn skills in activities that they did not think they would like
- + Friendships in the bunk are easier to make because the kids are together throughout the day
- – Wider friendships with kids of different ages are not as easy to develop
- – A camper might have to participate in something they really don’t like
One could argue for either approach. The key is which one fits your child.
Learn how a sleep away experience provides a positive opportunity for growth. Tips on Trips and Camps recommends the best ways to find information about quality summer programs that can change your child’s life.
January 05, 2015
Camp provides a positive opportunity for growth that should not be under-estimated. It can be an integral part of a child’s educational and social development. For the first time, they leave their homes and deal with campmates that may have different values or behaviors. They will learn to make choices for themselves and to negotiate and resolve conflict. They will learn how to deal with stress in a socially acceptable manner and to include, instead of exclude. They will learn to assess and differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate behavior and, ultimately, gain a stronger sense of self. Camp provides the backdrop for this personal growth in a safe and secure environment.
How do you find a summer program for your son or daughter that will successfully support these opportunities for positive development? Why not explore many options at once, by attending a camp fair.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to meet directors and learn about traditional sleep away camps, creative and performing arts camps, wilderness adventures, sports camps, travel, internships, language immersion, academic enrichment and community service programs throughout the U.S. and abroad.
- Camp fairs are hosted throughout the United States and abroad by TIPS ON TRIPS AND CAMPS. See a list of our camp fair sites at: https://tipsontripsandcamps.com/summer-advice/local-camp-fairs/
- Discuss ALL the options with knowledgeable summer program advisors on site.
Can’t come to the Fair? Call 866.222.TIPS or visit our website at TipsonTripsandCamps.com. Once you register, a local advisor will follow up with you immediately. Co-owner, Carey Rivers says, “you know your child and we know the camps. Together, we can find the RIGHT match.”
Tips on Trips and Camps, Inc. is a FREE service specializing in overnight summer experiences for children ages 7-19.
I announced to my husband in early February that we were going to send our 14 year old daughter on a spring break school trip to Columbia. His first words are something I cannot repeat. I quickly reminded him that for 25 years I have been in the camp advisory business of sending young children and teens to sleepaway programs and teen trips all over the world. It wasn’t that long ago that we sent our children at age 8 off to seven weeks of sleepaway camp. He as well as his extended family thought I was out of my mind! After many years of Maine visiting days, I can say he finally gets it! Soo now, we are talking about sending our 8th grade daughter out of the country for a homestay. I am aware of all the positive reasons for doing so… she will improve her Spanish, she will get to experience a different culture, she will step out of her comfort zone- all true gifts! So, I put the money down. I skyped the Directors of the school she would be visiting, I spoke to the teacher leaders. I asked all the questions I have guided others to ask over the years. Check. So why was I completely sick to my stomach the week before she left. Why did I not sleep at all the night before she left. It is the same reason I don’t sleep well with my kids are at camp for the first few weeks. It is hard. I know in my heart it is the very best gift in the world but it doesn’t prevent my true parental anxiety! It is day 4 of her 7 day spring break trip. I am calm and rested. The frequent texts I received via Whatsap the first two days are slowing. She is making friends. She is comfortable in her surroundings. She is happy and learning so many of life’s greatest lessons. For this I am grateful and proud. I can’t wait to hear all about her trip when she returns. I have taken my own advice and sent my daughter out into the world for an enriching exceptional experience!
Yes, you can do it. Yes, you should do it.
As a camp and trip advisor I hear it all the time… My child needs a friend to go or they won’t go. Nothing could be farther than the truth.
I sent my children off at 8 years old not knowing anyone attending their camps. They are the happiest campers. They have the best friends from all over the USA! To me this is one of the strengths and benefits of sleepaway camps and trips. They have friendships that will last a lifetime. The skills they developed from meeting new people, learning to cope, and developing independence will enable them to be stronger adults and increase their sense of self. Speak to Camp Directors and Teen Program leaders and you will learn that they concur. Many programs, especially those that involve small group travel, prefer children to attend independently. There are some that also may discourage more than one student attending from a certain school or hometown. The long lasting benefits of students taking a risk and trying new things independently far out-way the security of participating with a friend. Attending programs with a friend may also hinder the experiences for one or both. Often it prevents students from reaching out to others as well as trying activities they might not otherwise engage in. The success stories are numerous. Give it a try, urge your child or teen to venture off solo!
Tips for Camp Packing
The end of the school season is coming and if you live in the south June 1st is right around the corner. Get equipped for Sleepaway Camp now! Get out the packing list. Some camps use a personalized clothing companies which provide a mini- camp like catalog tailored to your child’s camp. The two largest companies are Cloz and The Camp Spot.
One stop shopping! You may pick up great duffles and accessories from them as well.
Shop early and finding a good staging room in your home. Get that strike eagle from vortex as soon as you can, in case you plan on hunting. Make the process fun and include your child. If it is your child’s first time heading off to camp you may notice some nervousness as the bags are prepped.
- Follow the directions only pack what is necessary! If it says 2 duffles only bring 2 duffles!
- Plastic containers may break, don’t over stuff.
- Place Pillow sheets and blankets into large garbage bags in case of inclement weather.
- Zip Lock all toiletries.
- Don’t forget to pack your weekly contact lenses.
- Place a list of packed items in the bottom of each duffle or trunk. Keep a copy for yourself.
- Pack a letter to your child as well as a little treat. A special photo or a new stuffed animal. Label everything.
- Label, Label, Label- Before I put everything in the bags I label and list. I sit down with 3 items. Sticker labels for clothing and shoes (Label Daddy), permanent stamper for socks and undergarments (Cloz & Camp Spot), and labels with our name and if lost call… for all valuable items and sports equipment (also cloz and Camp Spot). Sorry I am not one for the sew in labels definitely less expensive but time consuming.
- If you have any pertinent information to share with the camp staff and or your child’s cabin leader you may choose to include a letter here. Please note some camps have staff unpack for the campers others have the campers do it themselves. Check to see so that your camper may be prepared.
Three of my favorite websites to prep for packing!
Cloz Camp Outfitters – Clothing, Supplies, and Accessories for Youth Camps
The Camp Spot– Camp Suppliers
Label Daddy – Label the things you love… (Get 10%off use the code Tipsontrips)
COMMUNITY SERVICE – A BENIFIT OR BURDEN ON A COLLEGE RESUME
by Jenny Wolkowitz, Tips on Trips and Camps, St. Lous, MO
Community service programs have risen in popularity, chiefly in response to high school requirements for community service hours. As a teen summer trip advisor, I am often asked, “Will doing a community service project help me get into college?” This is an important question and one that is not easily answered.
No one activity will help get a student into college – not participating in a sport, taking an AP course, or doing community service. The admissions process is a complicated blend of criteria. They are looking for students who have diverse talents. Therefore, any summer experience is, in and of itself, not a vehicle for admission. No summer program is guaranteed to WOW admissions officers. They know that many students simply cannot afford these kinds of trips and it would be unfair to reject a candidate based on economic criteria.
However, while it is not guaranteed admission, in no way does a community service experience detract from a candidate’s profile. More critical is the personal growth that is realized from participating in meaningful community service. Students who participate in cross-cultural expeditions bring a rich understanding of different societies – differences that cannot be comprehended if they never leave their neighborhoods. Often these trips are life-altering experiences in a student’s life. If this is gained, a community service experience can be the stuff that great college essays are made of.
Schools look for students who want to be an active part of building a better community. They are looking for students who are socially responsible and willing to give back. They want students with good interpersonal skills and who care and are sensitive to others. Campuses are an enormous blend of students from around the world – all of whom bring different traditions, beliefs and spectrums of experiences.
Most importantly, students should participate in these programs to find out more about themselves – to explore new or existing interests and challenge themselves to move outside their comfort zone. These experiences offer opportunities that allow a student to begin to question opinions and values in ways that just can’t happen at home. The more you understand about yourself, the more you can understand and begin to accept others.
If you are looking for a return on your “investment” from your teen’s summer experience, a well-organized community service program may just be the best investment you could make. Service may not be an admission ticket to college but it certainly will help develop the importance of community participation. Cooperation, tolerance, determination, and experiencing the unknown are at the core of many summer programs. These are the same traits that ultimately make a person a success in college – and in every day life.
Tips on Trips and Camps is one of the oldest and largest camp advisory services. Established in 1971, “Tips” has advisors in 16 cities, relationships with over 600 sleep away camps and programs, and each year provides advice and guidance to thousands of families. The service is provided by phone, email and the website, which makes it available to anyone virtually anywhere. For more information and advice, to request brochures and DVDs, or to speak to a knowledgeable consultant, visit www.TipsonTripsandCamps.com.
Jenny Wolkowitz is the Midwest consultant for Tips on Trips and Camps and can be reached at (314) 432-8642 or jenny@TipsonTripsandCamps.com. Wolkowitz is married and the mother of 3 children. In her earlier years, she was a day camper, an overnight camper, a counselor, a teen tour participant and a teen tour leader. She studied abroad in college and has traveled extensively throughout the world. She serves on the boards of Nishmah, Solomon Schechter Day School and the Jewish Light