by Michele Klein
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m a little sad. It’s the last week of camp. I’ve made alot of new friends, learned how to throw a curve ball, and passedthe deep-water swimming test. I miss both of you a lot but I wishcamp would last forever. See you Saturday.
If this is the letter you hope to receive at the end of yourchild’s stay at camp then now is the time to begin planning. Youask yourself how can you plan for the hot, hazy days of summerwhen snow-drifts are creeping up to your sill? Yes, this is thetime. The majority of summer camps are filling up quickly. Youdon’t want your child to go on a waiting list and miss the bestpossible summer of his or her life!
If you are ready to begin, you want to be sure that you havetime for you and your child to make a well considered decision ofwhere to go. A camp experience may have a significant impact onyour child’s life. If you wait too long before looking at camps,you will regret the decision you made because it was made at thelast minute.
Where can you go for help? Names of camps come to parents inmany ways – word of mouth, an advertisement, or an article. Theseapproaches may sound simple and quick, however, their consequencesare often less than satisfying. Each family’s needs and theinterests of each particular child vary. You must begin evaluatingsuch issues as – type, size, cost, location, and philosophy ofeach camp.
Camp advisory services can provide parents with assistance andspecific camp recommendations. The National Camp Associationprovides a free camp advisory service to the public(800-966-CAMP). Other local advisory services can be found inWashington FAMILIES Magazine.