Finding The Right Summer Camp - While There is Still Time

Finding The Right Summer Camp – While There is Still Time

Tips for Families From 92NY Camp Expert Lauren Wexler

Summer camp season is fast approaching, and while some families are excited and ready for the first day, others still need to answer the big question: Which camp is the best fit?

92NY’s longtime camp expert Lauren Wexler is available to help families in both areas — how to navigate the seemingly overwhelming camp landscape, day vs. sleepaway/country vs. city, etc. — while offering time-tested tricks to get ready for summer in the Great Outdoors, or the city.

Wexler, who oversees several 92NY camps as the Executive Director of Children’s Enrichment and Engagement, is available for interviews. She can also discuss the overall importance of summer camp, and its short and long-term impact on children and parents alike.

92NY’s camps, which serve children ages 3-18, include: Camp Yomi, a general interest day camp in bucolic Pearl River, NY; Trailblazers, a day-travel camp, Discover Camp, a short-term sleepaway camp in the Poconos;  Camp Ilanot, a Hebrew Immersion day camp; Camp Pride, and short-term Dance, Baseball and Soccer Academies, among others.

Information about all of 92NY’s camps can be found here.

Lauren Wexler’s Tips

The Importance of Summer Camp: “Summer camp can be a transformational experience, as well as a magical one. Kids tend to become their true selves at camp — they learn how to be independent and they develop new skills and interests. They also make friendships that can last a lifetime. The summer camp experience can be so impactful that it sets the stage for one’s adult life, giving parents a glimpse of the grownup their child will become.”

So many choices, so little time: Says Wexler, “It might feel like it’s too late to choose a camp, but the good news is that many camps offer both short-term and long-term options, and many still have space. Day camp in the country can be a rich experience, just as the sleepaway experience can be a formative one. City-based camps and specialty camps can also be impactful experiences. Parents really need talk it through with their kids – and zero in on what they are looking to get out of the summer. Moms groups on social media can also be helpful when it comes to making an informed decision. There’s still time to find a great camp, the one that feels right.”

You’ve narrowed it down and still can’t decide: “The best way to make a final decision when choosing between a few different camps is to have open, frank conversations with the camp director and camp staff. Ask questions about their culture and what they value most. And, of course, make sure the activities offered align with the kind of experience that your family has in mind.”

Building Self-Esteem: “Having a healthy self-esteem has always been important for a child’s development – it’s even more so now in the social media era. Camp can be a place of abundant positive reinforcement, and it’s uniquely set up to allow children to try new things, and discover what they are good at and what makes them happy. There’s more pressure during the school year to get good grades and have the right friends, to do the so-called ‘right things’ – but a child’s identity, confidence and passions can really flower at summer camp.”

Getting Ready for Camp: “One way to build excitement and ease nerves about camp is shopping for camp gear and essentials together. Let your child pick out a new backpack or water bottle, a swimsuit or soccer cleats – an item they will look forward to using this summer. Visiting the camp’s website can also be helpful – there they can see photos and videos which will get them excited about camp, showing them exactly what they can expect when they get there.”

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