Six Steps To Choosing A Summer Camp

choosing a summer camp

When it comes to summer camps, there’s a lot more involved than just campfires, s’mores and sing-along songs. As a parent, you might already have come to the realization that picking the right summer camp for your child isn’t easy… it’s an important and time-consuming decision.

As leaders in the camp industry, Camp Friendship in Virginia simplified the process for busy parents by creating a 6 step process to choosing a summer camp:

1. Day or Sleepaway?

When choosing a summer camp, first things first: Simplify your options. While there are hundreds of camps out there, you need to decide first and foremost whether you’ll be picking a day camp, an overnight camp or a combination of both for the summer. The most important part of this step is involving your child in the decision-making process. Some 7 year olds are ready for overnight camp, others are not; and parents need to be ready too. Session length is also a consideration when thinking of overnight camps as some offer 1 week sessions and others offer 2,3,4 and full-summer options.

2. Specialized Programming or General Fun?

Consider your child’s interests: what do they enjoy doing and what new activities would they like to try? Are you hoping for them to enjoy a wide range of experiences or do you want to opt for a specialty camp that focuses on a particular activity or set of skills? Nowadays camps offer all sorts of specialized options including horseback riding, circus and performing arts, sports, science and computer-based activities and more.

3. Philosophy and Mission: Does It Match Yours?

Now that you’ve narrowed it down some, it’s time to get to know the camp itself. What are you looking for in a camp? What should you be looking for? A sure-fire way to check whether a camp is the right fit is to consider your own parenting philosophy and whether the camp’s philosophy matches this: what is their view on competition, conflict resolution, flexibility and free-choice, are they affiliated with a religion etc. Another aspect to consider is the children that make up the camp’s community – would they all be from the same area or does the camp welcome children from out-of-state or other countries?

4. Consider the Costs

While choosing a summer camp, the general rule of thumb is that the earlier you sign up for camp, the cheaper it is. Some camps may offer financial aid or payment plans as well as sibling discounts or multiple week discounts. Check whether tuition is all-inclusive or if there are additional costs for transportation, specialized activities, out-of-camp trips etc.

5. Ask Questions

All camps should have a helpful FAQ section on their website which will most likely provide answers to questions you hadn’t even thought to ask. The American Camp Association suggests parents ask questions relating to:

  • Management and Staffing: What is the Camp Director’s background? How are staff members selected, screened and trained? What supervision ratio does the camp enforce?
  • Accreditation and References: Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association? Are they willing to provide previous camper families as references? What is their return rate for campers and staff?
  • Facilities and Food: How are campers bunked and what are the bathroom facilities like? How does the camp accommodate fussy eaters or food allergies?
  • Health & Wellness: How does the camp handle medical issues and manage camper medications? What about special needs? Are there health care professionals on-site and where is the closest medical facility? How is homesickness handled? What is the camp’s stance on behavior management?
  • Activities and Program Goals: How does the camp assign campers their activities – is it free-choice or do they receive a structured schedule as a group or individuals? Which is better for your child? How does the camp structure free time into a typical day?
  • Communication: How can you stay in touch with your child during camp? Does the camp allow electronics or is it technology-free?

6. Pay Them a Visit

For a nervous camper (or parent!) there is nothing better than actually visiting the camp to ease any anxieties. Many camps have Open House Days where first-time camper families are welcomed onto camp to meet staff, as well as see the facilities and ask questions. Some camps also offer private tours just for you and your family. If you live too far away to visit, some camps may have camp videos or virtual camp tours on their websites which may be helpful.

Choosing a summer camp takes time to research. There’s a camp out there to suit every child. When you consider the fact that over 14 million people attend camps annually in the United States alone, it becomes easy to recognize that there must be something special and beneficial about the experience. Join Camp Friendship in Virginia.

Sign up today! 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950


Camp Friendship is a residential camp. If you have any questions pertaining to summer camp, sleepaway camp, coed summer camp, , horseback riding camp, tennis summer camp, overnight camp, or residential camp in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania, contact Camp Friendship at: 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950.

 

Residential Camp North Carolina

residential camp

Camp Friendship is a highly-acclaimed summer residential camp for children ages 7-16. Here at our summer residential camp near North Carolina, there is something for everyone! Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we offer an opportunity to experience the best summer possible. Increased self-esteem, making new friendships and gaining social competence, learning to work as part of a team, responsibility and building positive values are just some of the life skills gained from participating in Camp Friendship programs.

“My son had an amazing week at Camp Friendship! 🙂 He tried many new activities and made new friends. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly. This is a wonderful place.”

-Tracy Fornes

Sign up today! 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950

Since 1966, campers have been able to experience a summer focused on responsibility, independence and making individual choices. We have over 40 activities so campers who live in North Carolina can create their own summer fun and adventure! See for yourself what Camp Friendship’s summer residential camp near North Carolina can do for your child.

Programs Available

Junior Village

A warm and welcoming home-away-from-home near Washington DC for our 7-12 year-old campers. Junior Village provides a fun, inclusive and positive environment that encourages children to be themselves.

Senior Village

A great place for co-ed teens to have their own space on camp. Boys and girls have separate cabins located on the opposite side of the village. For ages 13-16.

Both village programs have six activities that each last at least one hour per day.


Camp Friendship is a residential camp. If you have any questions pertaining to summer camp, sleepaway camp, coed summer camp, , horseback riding camp, tennis summer camp, overnight camp, or residential camp in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania, contact Camp Friendship at: 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950.

Sleepaway Camp Pennsylvania

sleepaway camp

Camp Friendship is a good choice if you’re searching for a sleepaway camp near Pennsylvania. What sets this summer camp apart from any other sleepaway camp is, for one, their scenic location in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In addition, our staff is top-of-the-line. Many of them have been past campers and have come back to make a great experience for the newer crop of children.

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Sleepaway Camp Pennsylvania

Camp Friendship near Pennsylvania provides opportunities for campers to develop a sense of accomplishment through new activity skills that enhance their social growth and independence. Camp Friendship in offers camp programs designed so campers can gain confidence, make friends and create lasting memories.

“My son had an amazing week at Camp Friendship! 🙂 He tried many new activities and made new friends. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly. This is a wonderful place.”

-Tracy Fornes

Come visit and see how Camp Friendship can benefit your child. We look forward to seeing your child at our beautiful location next summer and beyond!

1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950


Camp Friendship offers sleepaway camp. If you have any questions pertaining to summer camp, sleepaway camp, overnight camp, coed summer camp, horseback riding camp, tennis summer camp, or residential camp in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania, contact Camp Friendship at: 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950.

The Week That Was… Session 1A!

Blink and you’ll miss it – we can’t believe that Week 1 of camp is already over! Although for many of our campers it went by far too quickly, we managed to squeeze in as much fun as possible, and here’s how:

We kicked off the week by welcoming our campers and staff from all over the world with our International Flag ceremony, before checking out some awesome acts at campfire. We learnt some new songs (one of which is a new favorite ‘Funky Chicken’) and witnessed some of CF’s finest campfire classics such as the Airplane Skit aka Chicken or Beef.

Excitement was in the air on Monday morning as we got ready for our first full day of activities! As always, there’s never a dull moment at camp and things got a little wet in the afternoon but as we say at camp… there’s no such thing as rain, there’s only liquid sunshine! We spent the time in our cozy cabins getting to know our cabin mates and playing games like dodgeball, shadow puppets, spoons and cards. Our dance pavilion transformed into a movie theater for our seniors which just goes to show that rain can never get us down here at camp!

On Tuesday evening it was time for Senior Villagers and Riding Campers to go head to head in an epic battle of Capture the Flag. The intensity was kicked up a gear when the campers took on the counselors…and won! The Juniors competed in a new evening activity called Get To Know Your Counselor where they had to guess all sorts of silly facts about their cool and crazy counselors with all their fun accents.

With the sun shining brightly on Wednesday we did some serious splashing with Slip ‘n Slide and a Pool Party and of course plenty break out dances when counselors were asked to ‘Show me how you get down!’

During our Thursday daily activities we started to put the skills we learned into practice in games and matches and then it was time to dress up for the big dance! We had berets, boots, flags, feathers and more as we all took to the gym floor for the Around the World boogie!

The final campfire on Friday is always bittersweet as it brings the week to a close, however there was much to celebrate with some campers receiving their 5 Year Pins for being loyal CF campers since 2013! We had some fantastic performances from groups and individuals including drama, dance, glee and more. Be sure to check out the Week 1 Wrap Up to see more, but it’s safe to say we had some really talented people here at camp this week!

We’ve been working hard to make 2017 our #bestsummerever, and so far it seems we’ve done a good job: a whopping number of Early Birders have jumped at the chance to sign up for next year! We can’t wait to see what Week 2 will bring… watch this space!

Coed Summer Camp North Carolina

If you’re looking for a Coed Summer Camp Near North CarolinaCamp Friendship is your choice. Camp Friendship’s summer camp in Central Virginia is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near North Carolina, and is for campers age 7-16.

While creating wonderful memories, your camper can gain independence, build social values and confidence. Camp Friendship, Virginia’s best coed summer camp near North Carolina offers several camp programs where camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through the development of new activity skills and enhance their social growth.  We guarantee that your son or daughter will absolutely love our coed summer camp and that they will have the experience for a lifetime! They have the opportunity to try new things, For more information, contact us at 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email: info@campfriendship.com.

Retreat Center in Virginia

meals3The decision to hold a retreat is the perfect way to unite, revive, and refresh your business or organization. But how do you ensure that your retreat will be successful and enjoyable? The first step is to find the perfect retreat center. Camp Friendship offers an affordable and accommodating retreat center in Virginia for your next retreat.

Remember, this is just the beginning of your retreat planning and there is a lot more to do! If you’re looking for the best retreat center in Virginia, then Camp Friendship is the answer! Call us at 434-589-8950 for more information or to schedule your next retreat at Camp Friendship!

Pick the Perfect Summer Camp

IMG_1176Have you ever considered sending your son or daughter to summer camp? The benefits of summer camp are

infinite, and give you the perfect excuse to sign them up right away! But how can you be sure that you’re choosing the right summer camp for your son or daughter? Meet Camp Friendship, we are a summer camp near North Carolina, and we are here to help you find the perfect camp! Read on for some tips to consider when selecting a camp for your children next summer.

Age

There isn’t necessarily a perfect age to begin sending your son or daughter to camp. It all depends on their maturity and whether or not you think he or she could handle themselves. Find out if there are different programs for different age groups and what a typical day would consist of.

Price

A major piece of the decision making process is what the price of summer camp is. Many camps may seem out of reach due to their price, but always consult with the camp first. They may have some kind of discount that you could qualify for!

Goals

Do you agree with the summer camp philosophy? You should agree with everything that the camp stands for and intends to teach your children.

Staff

Find out about how the summer camp staff is hired and what kind of training they have to go through. Make sure that you are comfortable with the staff and trust that they will give your children the best experience possible.

Activities

The best way to ensure that your son or daughter enjoys camp is by sending them to one that caters to their interests. If there are specific summer camp activitiesthat your son or daughter is interested in pursuing, choose a camp that offers them! Find out what kind of facilities the camp has for this activity and if there are any additional costs for this activity (many camps will charge extra for activities that aren’t held on the campgrounds).

Now, it’s time to get out there and continue the search for the best summer camp near North Carolina for your son or daughter! And you can start with Camp Friendship, call us at 434-589-8950 for more information or to schedule a tour today.

The Final Day of Summer Camp

session9a94It may seem crazy, but we have made it to the final day of the summer! Although the days may be winding to a close, we are as busy as ever here at camp. Last night we enjoyed an Olympics-themed dance before heading down to the drama theater to watch the play, Beauty and the Beast.

The dance was full of patriotism and Olympic excitement! With costumes including the Olympic rings, various athletes and national pride, it was a fun time for everyone.

session9a95During the dance, the campers and counselors involved in the drama production were running through scenes down at the theater. Everyone got into costume, practiced lines and prepared for the rest of camp to arrive.

The play was a definite success! THe special effects, including a fog machine, projector and cool lighting, set the scene. THe acting was excellent, including Junior Girls counselor Kerry Lester as everyone’s favorite Disney villain, Gaston. After the production ended, the audience gave the actors and stagehands a standing ovation before heading back to bed.

Tonight we have the final closing campfire of the summer, and it is sure to be a good one. With campers and counselors alike preparing acts, summer 2016 is sure to be sent off in style!

Fun Adventures at Summer Camp

session8a92As impossible as it is to believe, we are already into Week 8 at Camp Friendship. Although the summer is slowly but surely drawing to a close, we are still having as much fun as ever! With plenty of activities to choose from and fun events throughout the week, the campers are always having fun.

One popular activity area is the ropes course. The high ropes activity, reserved for senior campers, consists of several different elements like the Pamper Pole. To conquer the Pamper Pole, the campers must climb up the long pole to the platform at the top. Once up there, they can jump and try to grab hold of a bar several feet out. In addition to the Pamper Pole, campers can try other elements like the Stairway to Heaven or Jacob’s Ladder. Throughout the week, ropes-trained instructors like Junior Girls supervisor Lauren Lyons teach and encourage the campers to challenge themselves and conquer the elements. It is no surprise that high ropes is quite a popular activity among senior campers!

session8a97Performing arts supervisor Cody Payne and Junior Girls counselor Kerry Lester are already hard at work preparing for next week’s drama production, Beauty and the Beast. With all the roles filled, campers are beginning to learn lines and get into character. Cody and Kerry are also hard at work developing the set and special effects. The play is sure to bring down the house!

Tomorrow night the Camp Friendship soccer team will square up against the Triple C soccer team in a match down at Lower Fields. The squad, consisting entirely of staff members, has been practicing together all summer to prepare for the game. Campers and other staff members will enjoy a cookout on the field while they watch the game and cheer on their counselors, supervisors and support staff members. With friendly competition and good sportsmanship, it is sure to be a fun night for all!

The week’s fun will not be over after the game, however. On Thursday night we will enjoy a ‘90s themed dance in the gym, and Friday is sure to be full of fun events as well.

Refreshing Activities at Summer Camp

session7a93On the hot summer days we get here at camp, all anyone wants to do is jump into the pool or lake to cool off. For some lucky campers, this is an everyday reality: one activity, waterskiing, allows campers to spend all morning at nearby Lake Anna.

Waterskiing is a half-day clinic run by SV2 counselor Rebekah Pirie and Junior Boys counselor Hagen Abbott. The campers leave at breakfast and head to Lake Anna, where Rebekah and Hagen take them out on the boat. Before any campers are able to try it out, Rebekah and Hagen go out and demonstrate the fundamentals of waterskiing. After that, campers take turns out on the water for several hours.

Throughout the week, campers learn and practice until they are able to stay up in the water. When it isn’t their turn, campers can relax in the boat and enjoy the lake. On Friday, as a special treat, they go tubing instead of waterskiing.

Campers don’t have to leave camp to enjoy aquatic activities, however. Every day, each village has a free swim in either the pool or the lake. In addition, the pool runs water polo and pool swim throughout the day, while campers at the lake can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, lake swim and fishing.

The lake is divided into three sections of water: red water, yellow water and white water. While red water is typically used only for swim checks, the other two sections are full of fun activities. When yellow water is open, campers can fly off the rope swing and shoot down the slide as well as relax in tubes in the water. White water includes the floating dock, diving board, high dive and zip-line. With so many fun options in the lake, there is no going wrong!

session7a92One of our most popular evening activities, slip and slide, also includes water. The slip and slide is stretched out down the mountain boarding hill and covered in water. Campers take a running start and slide down the tarp, shooting off onto the grass at the other end. There is no denying that everyone gets muddy at slip and slide, but that’s all part of the fun!

There is a lot of fun left in the week here at camp. In the next few days we will have a Hawaiian luau dance as well as a horse show. Stay tuned to hear all about it!