What a difference a few decades makes…
When I was a teenager, parents had only a few choices available to them when planning their teens’ summers. Over the years these options have expanded exponentially to a staggering array of programs – from performing arts camps to kayaking camps to community service programs. The problem parents face now is how to choose, or rather, how to help their child choose the program that is right for them.
For some the choice is obvious – overnight basketball camps, for example, or a language immersion program or sailing camp. However, for others the seemingly limitless options can be bewildering.
What I try to do is help parents narrow their focus; what do they want their child to accomplish during their last few summers before college? These are the years to hone some of the skills acquired in school or sleep away camp, or to develop an entirely new skill, something your child will use and enjoy forever. The first step is to identify the activities your child enjoyed or excelled in over the last few years and then decide which of these areas you would like to see your child expand upon. Then narrow the field by determining which type of program best suits your child’s needs and interests. Academic enrichment programs can offer the opportunity to explore an area that time may not permit during the school year, as well as offering the experience of living on a college campus. Community service programs may be combined with language learning or wilderness programs.Perhaps your child thrived at sleep away camp and would like to continue the experience at a teen summer camp. Teen campers design their own schedules and have the opportunity to specialize to a high standard while enjoying campfires and other traditional camp activities.
There are a lot of programs out there and each has something very special to offer. With a bit of research and advice you are certain to find the right fit for your child. All that being said, our most important goal is that your child have the experience of a lifetime!