Top 10 Tips to Look for When Deciding on a Summer Camp for your Child

Trying to decide where to send your kid this summer? Check out this list.

Making the decision to send your kids to summer camp is a big one in and of itself, and many parents, even the most experienced, will feel a host of emotions before that first decision is even made. Should they stay close to home? Should it be an overnight camp? Can I really live without them for a whole week? Once the mom who has had kids in school, most of the academic year finally exhales a resounding “YES!” then the real work begins. Now what? How do I even begin to decide where to send them? What will fulfill all of their needs and mine as a concerned parent? Here is a list that will help you decide.


1) Does the camp satisfy the diverse tastes of all your children? Most families have more than one child, and if that is you, you see the conundrum. One kid is a risk taker and wants to snowboard. Another can’t live a day without creating a video for his YouTube channel. The best camps in North America satisfy all of those personalities and more.


2) Is the camp easy to get to? Camp should feel like camp, right? It wouldn’t be the same if it is located in the middle of downtown, yet you don’t want it in the middle of nowhere 12 hours away either. The best camps offer great outdoor settings, but still offer the ease of access from an airport or major highway. Remember, this is CAMP – not daycare and definitely not Survivor.


3) For most families, camp is a big investment and you want it to be worth the time and money invested. Does the camp you select offer unique opportunities not available other places? Are there facilities that your child can access that he wouldn’t get at the health club down the road or out exploring with his friends at home? The best camps will have opportunities that are hard to come by at others.


4) Let’s be honest, we want our kids to actually learn what they are there to learn. Does the camp you are considering offer true skill development and healthy competition?


5) The best camps not only offer your kids a way to get better at their favorite sport, but offer professionals to lend their time to mentor your kids. This is a key point that should be considered seriously.


6) Back to basics: Does this camp have good facilities and top-of-the-line equipment that will keep the skills they are learning relevant?


7) Does your camp offer winter in summer? It is pretty cool to snowboard in July. There are a few camps that offer this unique opportunity where the seasons get confused and kids can experience natural snow in the middle of summer. For real!


8) Especially in multi-sibling homes, it is important to determine if a camp is affordable and/or offers discounts for early registration, multiple children or even multiple weeks or activities.


9) Will this camp offer your kids memories that they will hold for the rest of their lives? Not only is camp a fun and exciting experience, a good camp will help your children build important relationships with fellow camp members, staff, mentors and other key people that will make the experience worth repeating. The best camps are those that have kids that return year after year and pass along their experiences to others.


10) Lastly, what is in a reputation? When it comes to sending your kid away from home, potentially across the country or more, it is paramount to just about anything else. Ensuring the camp you are selecting has top-notch staff and good word of mouth across attending parents is what will help you sleep soundly while the kids are away.


As you can see, camp has come a long way since the days of tents and camp fires. The possibilities are virtually endless if you do your research and discover what is possible for your kids this summer.


Woodward Copper, based at Copper Mountain, leads one of the most exciting mountain camp experiences in North America. Woodward Copper ( offers natural snow through August and highly experienced coaching staff is available to all attendees in a variety of sports and activities.


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