Children’s summer camps and wilderness programs for boys and girls in the United…

October 7, 2015

Starting Your Search for a Music, Arts, or Sports Camp

CP-bestsummercamp4What do a finger painting, a pipe cleaner sculpture, a silent documentary about the plight of a cricket trapped in the bathroom, a marching band cadence, a professional production of the Nutcracker, and a spoken word poem about racism in elementary schools all have in common? They are all forms of artistic expression – the powerful and moving manifestation of creative communication.

The arts include many modalities by which we can improve our mental faculties, physical health and dexterity, and societal strengths. Whether you are just introducing your child to the arts or seeking a camp experience to refine his or her skills, you can find a summer camp that will nourish a hungry imagination.

I want a kayaking camp…make that a Christian kayaking camp…in the mountains of Western North Carolina. No, wait, I’d rather be in the Rockies. Hold the phone! Now I want to be a ballerina…

Sound familiar? When summer vacation offers infinite opportunities, you must have summer camp search tools that allow for campers (and parents) to dream big and broadly, and then to refine their search to the perfect fit.

What Talents, Skills and Abilities Does Your Child Need to Work on?

Search for any kind of camp activities and you’ll quickly notice the variety of options: cooking, rock music, pottery, photography, visual arts, woodworking, acting, crafts, dance — the list goes on. If all options are on the table, it’s a matter of a simple conversation or observation about your child’s interests. If your son talks incessantly about rump roast marinades, you might start exploring the cooking camps. Contrastingly, if clowns give your daughter fainting spells, you could consider the visual arts or dance route in lieu of a circus summer camp. And unless your daughter or son is on track to Julliard for the violin, who’s to say improv camp can’t be followed by magic and then ceramics? This is the prime age to offer sensory overload to see what sticks!

When exploring sports camp options, the best starting point is an assessment of your child’s current skill level and needs. Perhaps your daughter has expressed interest in volleyball. Searching for programs that incorporate volleyball turns up McCracken Midwest Volleyball camps with day and residential sessions for intensive drills, personal attention, and lots and lots of sweat. “But wait!” you sputter, “She’s only 10 and also has expressed interest in ponies. I’m not quite ready for her to attend a camp that will set her up for an athletic scholarship.” Alright then thrown into the mix are programs that emphasize girls’ empowerment through team sports like basketball, as well group horseback rides or soccer. Have a healthy conversation with your child to get a sense of his or her commitment level, interests, and sports skills in order to determine what intensity-level of athletics is best.

If you have a budding musician in the family, you might wonder what musical abilities your child needs to improve on. There are camp programs that teach everything from accordion to bongo and cornet to xylophone.

Do You Prefer a Summer Camp Program with a Christian Emphasis?

As you begin your search for the perfect summertime experience for your kids, are you looking for a camp the features a Christian program? Many programs, especially those that offer a broad spectrum of activities, are established as Christian camps and often affiliated with a church or retreat center. There are bible camps, church camps, and activity camps that focus on teaching skills if you’d like to expose your child to a myriad of activities, but with the structure of religious values. This way, you and your family can select the optimum summer camp, based on the criteria most important to you. Your children can mature in their faith while experiencing the fun, excitement, and friendship of summer camp.

What Locations Make the most Sense for Your Family?

Acknowledging the zillions of factors that go into choosing a camp it sometimes makes sense to focus your search on geography as well as interest and type. That way, once you and your child decide what kind of program is desired, you can choose a location that makes sense for your family. As you look for programs all across North America, sometimes it’s hard to determine the location when the choices are so vast. Day camps tend to be an option for local campers, but your choices open up a bit when exploring residential sport camps. You’ll want to account for comfort, safety, proximity to relatives should there be an emergency. If your kids have decided they want to spend the summer away from home, and you’ve agreed then you’ll need to take into consideration what programs are available, whether or not your kids will thrive in an urban or rural setting, and what activities are the focus of their summer experience. Rest assured the right facility for your child is out there.

If you have just begun your search for a summer camp make sure you visit and review the comprehensive list of summer camps in the US and Canada available.