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.

Why the World Needs Summer Camp

With all the changes our world is going through, it’s important for youth development organizations such as summer camps to change with the times to continue serving young people and their families. The world needs the next generation to be more open to learning about each other’s views, beliefs, and cultures and summer camp is a special type of community where this can happen safely and easily. Summer camp is an opportunity for children to be exposed to the best of human character, where children practice being the best they can be and are encouraged by role models who have been carefully selected for just that purpose.

While there are many different types of camps and each one differs in terms of tradition and identity, they share the common goal of supporting and developing our youth. Summer camps add a spark of magic to a child’s summer: they are wholesome, inclusive environments purposefully designed to encourage self-expression and growth. At camp, campers always take that shot at a goal, comfortable in the knowledge that the people around them will cheer them on regardless of the result. Camp experiences stay with kids forever.

Sparked by the exciting adventures that childhood brings, Camp Friendship sets the benchmark for an exceptional summer experience with tried and true methods stemming from 50 years of experience. We are eager to be active partners in your child’s journey of wonder and self-discovery, and would be happy to tell you more about the benefits of camp in person, over the phone or via email. Our family-owned camp is available throughout the year for private camp tours – give us a call to set up an appointment and we’d be happy to show you around. See you this summer!

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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How Residential Camp near North Carolina Can Help in College

FebOften times, going to a traditional camp for the summer is seen as something that can be socially beneficial for a child. It offers a fun pastime over the hot summer months and gives them friendships they can keep for a long time to come. However, at Camp Friendship, attending our residential camp near North Carolina goes way beyond the realm of childish gain. It can be actually be academically beneficial as well!

Recently, it has been found that colleges are accepting students who show they are passionate about something and possess leadership skills. Children can find these skills in the residential camp activities that they will participate in every day at Camp Friendship! Whether it’s playing their favorite sports or interacting with their new friends, campers will have the opportunity to find

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what they are truly passionate about and let those passions shine! Many traditional camp programs fit well with his advice. Children grow emotionally, intellectually and physically during the summer at Camp Friendship. Our traditional camp provides campers with new experiences and exposes them to international culture and global awareness. And most importantly, we take ordinary summers and make them an extraordinary learning experience for every single camper. Taking a child outside of his/her comfort zone often helps to build confidence and self-esteem. And there are plenty of other chances for campers to gain a ton more life skills at residential camp.

Certainly, there are many factors of the college experience that cannot be helped through camp such as academic workloads and time management. But being homesick and missing parents is a natural thing for a child who goes away from home for the first time, and this often occurs at college. Campers at Camp Friendship are given the opportunity to practice coping with this homesick feeling in a supportive, stress-free environment. Campers also gain independence, and social skills from their summers at camp, by learning how to make decsions on their own, make new friends, and simply be out in the world ‘on their own’!

Learning independence, passion, leadership, and confidence are all parts of the Camp Friendship experience, and are undoubtedly important in the preparedness of going away to college. Think of camp not only as a fun summer pastime, but also as a learning experience and a key to success later in life.

If you’re ready to send your son or daughter to the best residential camp near North Carolina and get a head start on preparing college, then call Camp Friendship! Call us today at 434-589-8950 for more information or to register today!

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Sleepaway camp in Virginia, help your child have a great time at camp

Art_&_Craft_CFSummer camp is a place where kids go to have fun, but they also learn so many important life skills. The camp facility at ourVirginia sleep away camp leads to outdoor knowledge and appreciation, confidence building, and of course we can’t forget to mention the lifelong friendships that come out of a summer at Camp Friendship.

While so many great things come out of a summer camp experience, it’s common for children to feel an uneasiness about going away to camp. Here are some tips to help your child have, not only a great time, but a successful time at camp.

Listen/Talk About Concerns:
As the countdown to camp gets closer and closer, your children may begin to feel an uncertainty about going away to camp. Being away from home for the first time, (and even for return campers), and not having your family right by your side can seem scary! Ask your child how they feel about the summer camp program, and try to communicate your confidence in them to succeed. Remind them that summer camp is about having fun! Addressing any concerns your child may have before they get to camp, can definitely help them to relax and regain that excitement to ensure they have the best camp experience they can!

During Camp:
Communicate via writing! Ask specific questions about activities, camp life, friends, etc. While it’s ok to write that you miss your child, try to steer clear of comments such as “Champ the dog really misses you,” or “The house is so quiet without you here…”, etc.

If you are planning on sending packages, try to send things like postcards, cartoons, game books, puzzles, and other things that can become conversation starters. This can help ease interactions between children, as they have something to show, and/or a group activity to ask others to participate in.

If your child is expressing pleas to come get them, let them know that you love them and are confident in their abilities to get through it, and have a great time! You can always talk to the camp director/counselors, to get their advice on the situation. Camp professionals have been doing this for years, and will have great insight into the situation and tips on how to handle it.

Come the end of camp, your child will typically thank you for encouraging them to stay!! And, more importantly they will have gained experience and life skills that will help them as they grow!

We have a first time camper orientation taking place on Saturday April 25 from 11am – 12pmContact us for more information. And feel free to contact with any questions/concerns about camp as the countdown to summer camp continues!

Overnight Equestrian Camp | Virginia

Is your daughter between the ages of 9-16 and LOVES horses? Then Camp Friendship‘s overnight Equestrian Camp in Virginia is the ideal place for her to be this summer. Here at Camp Friendship‘s overnight Equestrian Camp, we teach all of our campers to respect, love, and care for horses along with building their horseback riding skills under the instruction of our expert staff. Each rider is equipped with a horse that best meets her unique needs and skill level – and with 90+ horses, we are sure to create the perfect riding program for your daughter this summer! Allow your camper to grow her passion for horseback riding, learn new skills, and have a BLAST this summer at Camp Friendship‘s overnight Equestrian Camp in Virginia!

For more information on our overnight Equestrian Camp in Virginia,
please contact us at Camp Friendship today! We look forward to hearing from you!

A Lifetime of Lessons to Learn at Camp Friendship

Camp Friendship, a sleep away camp in Palmyra, Virginia, is all about making the most of your summer! While you’re having the best summer of your life, you will also learn unforgettable lessons that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Here’s a list of just a few of the lessons you can take home with you from Camp Friendship.

1. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things- summer is the chance to explore your interests. At Camp Friendship, there are plenty of activities that allow you to try something you’d never thought you’d do before- who knows, you might end up loving it! From a wide variety of sports to arts, Camp Friendship will always have a new activity to participate in!

2. Friendship- Summer camps can build true friendships that will last a lifetime! Spending time with others that enjoy similar activities is a great way to strengthen the bond of friendship. We are Camp Friendship after all!

3. Things aren’t as bad as they seem – be happy with the basics! Get away from the materialistic life. Campers will learn how to enjoy themselves and build strong friendships without staring into a cell phone or computer screen the entire time!

4. The value of time- Sadly, summer passes in the blink of an eye. Time goes by quickly so don’t forget to spend every moment enjoying it. Cherishing the moments spent at Camp Friendship will get you through the long year until you come back!

5. Dedication- You can’t be the winning team if the entire team doesn’t put forth the effort and work together. Putting the team first and helping those on your team succeed teaches the true value of dedication.

Get excited for Summer 2015, and register for summer camp today! Feel free to contact us with any questions and concerns.

Sleepaway Camp Near Baltimore, MD

Camp Friendship is a sleepaway camp in Virginia. We are close to the city of Baltimore MD, which makes Camp Friendship the perfect summer camp for children ages 7-16.

We offer a wide variety of traditional summer camp activities such as swimming, boating, soccer, arts and crafts, and camp fires. But, our most popular activities include a horseback riding program, color wars, and a ropes course. Our co-ed sleepaway camp is located in Central Virginia at the popular foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are 6 different camp programs to choose from including Junior Village, Senior Village, and even an Equestrian Camp.

Come visit us, or request more information. We hope you’ll register for a session at our Virginia Summer Camp!

Summer Camp in Virginia

There is nothing more memorable for a child than a really great summer camp experience. Camp Friendship is located in breathtaking Palmyra, Virginia and offers a Traditional Sleepover Camp experience. Our summer camp offers a wide variety of activities for children of all ages. The essence of this experience enhances a child’s self esteem, independence and social values in addition to providing wonderful memories which often last a life time. Camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through the development of new activity skills and cultivate special friendships and enhance personal growth and independence, which is the true essence of the summer camp experience.For more information, contact 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email: info@campfriendship.com