Believe it or not, there are literally 95 different kinds of camps in the Greater Rochester area for children this year.
“Camps are available for kids of a lot of ages. You've got kids in kindergarten who are maybe trying to start a soccer game as well as there are a lot of camps that are focusing on kids going into college,” says Barbara Melnyk, publisher of Genesee Valley Parent Magazine which recently released its special summer camp edition.
“You may be saying you're not going to go on this major vacation this year, but you're giving kids an opportunity of doing something that's kind of different,” says Melnyk.
What should parents look for in a summer camp? The first rule of thumb: get your kids involved.
“I think that you picking the camp for your kid and saying 'ok Johnny, you're going to this camp' is disaster in the making,” says Melnyk.
Melnyk tells us there is always a physical activity component in any camp including academic camps. Not only does camp help get kids fit its a good way to get them to try something new without a long term commitment.
“Maybe your kid wants to do soccer but you're kind of unsure whether you want to commit them to a full soccer season.”
Kindergarten is a good benchmark as far as the right age to start camp but make sure they're in a day camp.
“There are a lot of rec centers, there are also a lot of pre-schools now and day care that have a lot of ‘theme weeks’,” says Melnyk.
Overnight camps are best for kids who are in their “tweens”:11 years old and up.
“You know, if they've done sleepovers a lot with friends and they've done that type of stuff, then they are ready for camp, an overnight.”
For more information on the Rochester-area summer camps this year, Genesee Valley Parent Magazine has a full listing on its website: www.gvparent.com