6 Steps to 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, we’ve simplified the process for busy parents by creating a 6 step process to choosing a summer camp:

1. Day or Sleepaway?
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
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:

  • Accreditation and References: Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association and 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 during this time of year where first-time camper families are welcomed onto camp to meet staff, 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.

Ready to start searching? Try the ACA’s Camp Search on www.campparents.org.

There’s a camp out there to suit every child, and 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.

If you’re interested in learning more about Camp Friendship, join us at our Open House on April 22nd.

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.

Coed Summer Camp Virginia

If you’re looking for a Coed Summer Camp in Virginia, then Camp Friendship is the right choice for you. Camp Friendship’s coed summer camp  is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Palmyra, Virginia, and is the perfect camp for boys and girls age 7-16.

While creating wonderful memories, your camper can gain independence, build social values and confidence. They have the chance to step out of their comfort zones and explore tons of new experiences, all at our judgment free camp! Camp Friendship, coed summer camp in Virginia offers several camp programs and loads of activities where camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through the development of new activity skills and enhance their social growth.  For more information, contact us at 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email: info@campfriendship.com.

Tennis Summer Programs VA

Camp Friendship has a plethora of sports for kids to participate in at their summer camp in Virginia. Camp Friendship is a great place for your child to enjoy sports at camp in close proximity to Virginia. Camp Friendship is an overnight summer camp in Virginia for campers ages 7-16 and offers 6 different summer camp programs and unique activities such as tennis, a horseback riding program, color wars and a ropes course, to name a few. There is a wide variety of traditional summer camp activities such as soccer, volleyball, arts and crafts, camp fires and more.

Come visit or request more information. Contact us call 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950.

Make New Friends at Summer Camp

IMG_9640One of the highlights of summer for children is spending a few weeks at overnight camp! Here, they have endless hours of fun and adventure that they can’t have anywhere else. So what exactly is the best part about going to an summer camp near Pennsylvania? At Camp Friendship, we believe that it’s all the lifelong friends that campers will make!

When looking at overnight camps, a lot of parent’s main concern is whether or not their child will make friends. But rest assured, by the end of the first day, your child will have met a ton of new people, and likely met one of their new best friends! A lot of campers make new friends by finding other children that have similar interests. That makes our overnight camp activities the prime opportunity to make new friends. Children have to communicate and work with each other to achieve a common goal. By doing this, children aren’t just making new friends, they are also gaining social skills, boosting their self-esteem, and also gaining self-confidence, all while having a fun time! Our safe and supportive summer camp environment is the perfect place for children to discover who they truly are. Therefore, making friends that support them and have similar mindsets. School can be a stressful place, therefore finding time to make friends can often be hard. Allowing overnight camp is the perfect place to make new friends happen!

So are you ready to sign your son or daughter up for the best summer camp near Pennsylvania next summer?! Then call Camp Friendship to get more information or to schedule a tour today at (434)-589-8950.

Choosing the Right Residential Camp

While this summer is relatively half-way over, the search for the perfect residential camp near Pennsylvania for sons and/or daughters is still not over for some families! The earlier that you start looking for a residential camp, the less stressful (and cheap) your experience will be. Here at Camp Friendship we have come up with a few tips to make the search a little bit easier, so keep on reading ahead! However, keep in mind that we still have some sessions open for your child to attend! Don’t take too long though, you might miss out on what could’ve been an amazing summer experience for them!

  1. What does the camp offer? The best way to guarantee that your son or daughter enjoys their experience is by sending them to a camp that offers what they are interested in. Look through the residential camp activities to see all of the options. At Camp Friendship, we offer sports, water activities, low and high ropes, creative arts, and different evening activities to end the day. There is something for everyone to do at Camp Friendship!
  2. How far away is the camp? The distance away from home shouldn’t affect your decision way too much. If you think a residential camp is the right fit, don’t cancel it out because it’s farther away than you wanted. Just make sure to visit the residential camp first before you make any final decisions.
  3. Who will be taking care of your children? One of the most important things to find out about is the residential camp staff. Ask about the hiring process, any licenses and training they take, and what the ratio of counselors to campers is. These are the people who will be with your children all summer, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
  4. What are on the campgrounds? Whether you’re taking an online tour or actually visiting the camp in person, find out about the residential camp facilities. Look at the cabins, all of the different fields and courts, the pool, the lake, etc. At Camp Friendship, we are constantly updating and checking the facilities to guarantee a safe and fun experience for our campers!

Now, are you ready to sign your son or daughter up for the best residential camp near Pennsylvania? Then contact Camp Friendship today at (434)-589-8950 for more information or to schedule a tour!

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Lifelong Memories at Sleepaway Camp near North Carolina

IMG_2542 1Fun fact: ten million children attend some kind of camp every summer. How crazy is that? Going to sleepaway camp was the highlight of our childhood summers, and that hasn’t changed for this generation. There are thousands of sleepaway camps all around the United States. Sending your son or daughter to a sleepaway camp near North Carolina, like Camp Friendship, is one of the best decisions you could make for their summer plans and for their future. When you pick up you child at the end of the summer, they will have a million of new stories to tell you about all of the memories they had made that summer.

Speaking of childhood summers, if you attended sleepaway camp as a child, what are some of the memories that you think of? Do the super hot days where going to the lake was the only option to stay cool come to mind? What about hanging out with all of your new friends all day, every day? And then do you remember pick up day where the entire ride home you told your parents all of the cool things you did? Sleepaway camp provided you with some of your fondest childhood memories, and the same goes for children today! Our campers say that the best part about Camp Friendship are all of the sleepaway camp activities that we have to offer. Whether it is winning the pool olympics, participating in the talent show, or our ugliest counselor contests, our campers say that looking back at their summers, Camp Friendship made the top of their lists. Along with all of this, our sleepaway camp counselors strive to give campers a memorable summer. They go above and beyond to ensure that campers are having fun every single day at Camp Friendship. And to be honest, it’s impossible to not have fun every day while you’re here.

If you are interested in sending your son or daughter to the best sleepaway camp near North Carolina to give them the best summer of their lives, then contact Camp Friendship today! Call us at (434)-589-8950 for more information or to schedule a tour.

Coed Summer Camp near Maryland

You may think its too late to be looking for a coed summer camp near Maryland, well it’s not! Check out Camp Friendship located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains! YEs, camp may be starting all over the country, but it’s not too late to sign up for our later coed sessions. Camp Friendship has a special sleep away summer camp program in VA where they can have their own space, be free to be themselves and enjoy a new sense of responsibility. This program is for teenagers who want to explore new interests, learn new skills, and participate in a rewarding summer. A coed summer camp experience can provide teenagers with independence, social values, and confidence. Camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through activity skills and  enhance their personal growth and independence.

Your teen has the opportunity to meet international campers, build social values and confidence, gain independence and create wonderful memories when they spend their summer at Camp Friendship. To schedule a tour or for more information about our coed summer camp near Maryland,  contact us at 1-800-873-3223.

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Benefits of Coed Summer Camp near Washington DC

IMG_8481revisedSummer camp has been a highlight of summers for over a hundred years. Did you know that this year, over eleven million children and adults will attend summer camp? Coed summer camp near Washington DC, provides children will a safe environment where they can have infinite hours of fun with their new friends. At Camp Friendship, we have come up with a few of the endless benefits that come along with attending summer camp.

  • Community- At summer camp, children can feel free to be themselves. We are proud of our safe and supportive community at Camp

    Friendship where children don’t have to worry about being judged or failing. Our summer camp strives to give children the best summer camp experience ever where they can grow and learn in an accepting and comfortable environment.

  • Social Skills- Summer camp is the best place for children to practice their social skills and learning to live among their peers. Campers will be living in our summer camp cabins where others will constantly surround them. Children will learn to deal with various issues and communicate with others.
  • Unplug the Electronics- There are no cell phones at summer camp. Instead, a typical day consists of various summer camp activities and exploring. Our wonderful summer camp staff is always ready to teach campers a new skill and practice with them.
  • Life Skills- One of the best parts about going away to summer camp is all of the life skills campers’ gain. Children wont even know they are learning at summer camp. Campers will return home at the end of the summer more independent and confident in their abilities. If you don’t believe us, read some of our summer camp testimonials from current and past campers!

Remember, these are only a few of the endless benefits that come along with attending summer camp! If you’re interested in the best coed summer camp near Washington DC, contact Camp Friendship today at 434-589-8950!