You might not know it from the weather, but summer is closer than you think - especially if you want to send your kids to summer camp. Registration is already open for many summer camps, and spots can fill up fast for popular sessions. However, if you are selecting a summer camp for the first time, or are thinking about making a change, weighing the pros and cons of different programs can feel overwhelming.
Sam Renshaw is the Camp Director at FaySummer, which has offered a summer camp program at Fay School in Southborough, Mass, for over twenty years. FaySummer offers full-day and extended-day summer camps with special interest, sports, and academic immersion options. As parents start to evaluate their options for the summer, Sam shares his best advice for what to look for in a great summer program.
Facilities Designed for Fun
Sam advises parents to visit or take an online tour of each camp they are considering. Look for a variety of age-appropriate outdoor play spaces, and make sure there are indoor facilities for extra-hot and rainy days. Fay’s 66-acre campus
offers five playing fields for sports and games, eight tennis courts, an outdoor adventure and ropes course, and a playground. Campers swim in Fay’s two heated pools, the adult-sized 25-meter pool and the 3-foot deep zero-entry wading pool for younger swimmers. FaySummer also regularly uses the theater, gym, indoor rock wall, art studio, classrooms, Center for Creativity & Design, and other large air-conditioned indoor spaces. Make sure there is plenty of room for fun when the weather forces campers indoors.
Options that Keep Camp Exciting
While some campers enjoy the balanced mixture of activities in regular day camp, others may want to be immersed in a favorite activity or spend time discovering a new one. Sam recommends looking for camps that offer regular and specialty camps so that kids can find the option they like best or switch it up from week to week. In addition to regular camp, FaySummer campers can explore Specialty Camps
like musical theater, tennis, cooking, sports, art, and a STEM Design & Build camp. Kids with a taste for adventure can do Voyager Camp
, where they travel to a different amusement park, beach, or summer attraction each day.
In Safe Hands
Make sure that any camp you are considering is staffed and equipped to handle any health-related concern that could arise during the camp day. Fay’s Health Office is open and staffed with a full-time nurse when FaySummer is in session. Swim lessons are taught by certified lifeguards who are college-aged or older, and all counselors are certified in CPR and First Aid.
Extended Day Options
Camp pick-up and drop-off schedules can be tough for working parents, so Sam recommends looking for camps with an extended day option. At FaySummer, morning care is available from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. and afternoon care is available from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. In addition to pre-registered spots, FaySummer also has drop-in spots in both programs to acknowledge that sometimes schedules can change at the last minute.
So, take the chill out of winter by exploring the summer camp options that are out there. With a little research, you are bound to find a summer program that sets you and your child up for a great summer!