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.


Why Camp Is a Multi-Year Experience

As active leaders in the camping industry, we know that Camp Gives Kids a World of Good. We’ve seen the studies and statistics and know that summer camp – regardless of which one you pick – can be a positive and impactful experience for any child. But is one time at summer camp enough?

We believe camp is a multi-year experience. Unlike many other long-running sleepaway camps on the east coast which offer 4 or 7 week options, Camp Friendship offers short 1 and 2-week sessions which can be combined to stay multiple weeks. We know that many first-time parents consider their first summer a ‘trial run’, and we also know how important it is for both campers and parents to feel ready for an overnight camp experience (even though at the end of the week, many first-time campers beg to be allowed to stay longer!).

Here’s 5 reasons we know that camp is best when experienced over multiple years:

1. Strengthen connections. Camp gives kids the chance to connect with others face-to-face. Campers stay friends with each other throughout the year and strengthen those existing connections at camp the following summer. Better yet, they continue to expand their circle of friends each year and, at Camp Friendship, they have the added benefit of being exposed to a global village with people who come from all over the world.

2. Practice emotional intelligence. As they get older, children need to practice the self-management of their emotions. Camp is the ideal setting to practice this as counselors serve as excellent yet subtle role models. Children expect to be told what to do and how to be by their parents… they don’t expect to be shaped by their counselors who can give them friendly advice from the vantage point of a friend who cares.

3. Guaranteed growth and progression. Not only is there the activity progression that follows the notion that ‘practice makes perfect’ in any sport or activity, but multiple years at camp offers social growth and development. It also allows campers to increase their independence from year to year. The first time at an overnight camp makes a big impact in the life of our campers, but each subsequent camp experience adds to and enhances the next.

4. Take a break from technology. We hear it every day – the ever-increasing impact of technology on humanity, and specifically children. Every year, as campers get older and become more dependent on technology, having a time set aside when they can be technology-free is a great way to help them become well-adjusted individuals.

5. Remove outside pressures that increase with age. Camp Friendship is a place to be YOU, allowing campers to join a welcoming community where they don’t need to pretend to be someone they’re not. Every aspect of camp creates a nurturing, inclusive environment where campers are encouraged to be themselves. Everyone is equal, everyone is supported, and everyone matters. The pressures from school, siblings and peers are removed, and, as parents, having these pressures removed for a period of time every year is especially appealing.

Horseback Riding Camp Washington D.C.

Camp Friendship is the best horseback riding camp, located only a few hours away from home for Washington D.C. campers. What makes Camp Friendship the best horseback riding camp for children, is that we are experts in teaching the fundamentals of horse and rider, as well as providers of the most fun with our horses. Your child can enjoy time with our gentle horses, playing in the river or taking them out on our extensive cross country trails. Whether your daughter is a beginner or an advanced rider, Camp Friendship has the perfect program for any horse enthusiast! Our programs are designed to bring the best experience to children during their stay at summer camp.

We look forward to hearing from you to discuss the unique experience that a Camp Friendship Summer can provide your children. We are open all year round for tours and questions. Contact Camp Friendship today at 1-800-873-3223.

Overnight Camp Washington DC

If your daughter is between the ages of 9 and 16 there is no better place for her to be this summer than at Camp Friendship’s overnight Camp near Washington DC. Camp Friendship’s overnight summer camp is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia on 520+ acres of scenic woods and rolling hills just 2.5 hours from Washington DC. Thousands of campers have journeyed to Camp Friendship‘s overnight Camp from nearby Washington D.C. Our overnight Camp is designed to provide a safe, fun overnight camp experience. Give your Washington D.C. daughter her most amazing summer yet at Camp Friendship’s overnight camp!

Find out more about our overnight Camp, close-to-home to Washington, DC. Contact us at Camp Friendship today!

Summer Camp Washington DC

Give your child a chance to make new friends and have fun at our facility with the best staff available, at Camp Friendship Summer Camp near Washington DC. At Camp Friendship near Washington DC, your child can create lifelong memories, gain independence and confidence and and try new things in a safe environment. A special Summer Camp near Washington DC, Camp Friendship is the best choice in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Camp Friendship, A Summer Sleepaway Camp near Washington DC, offers several summer camp programs where camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through the development of new activity skills and enhance their social growth. Camp Friendship has a variety of water sports to be enjoyed on our own lake or Junior Olympic size pool, or on 3 1/2 miles of river frontage on the scenic Rivanna River. 

Schedule a tour and see why kids come back year after year. Come visit to see what benefits there are for your child. To find out more about Camp Friendship, contact us at 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email us at –

Riding Camp near Washington D.C.

Are you looking for summer plans for your daughter next year? At Camp Friendship, we have an equestrian camp for girls ages 9-16. Whether your daughter has never rode a horse before, or she has been riding for years, Camp Friendship offers the best riding camp cheap generic cialis canada near Washington D.C. Keep on reading to buy generic viagra learn more about our riding camp and why it is a great option for your daughter’s summer plans!

canadian pharmacy aggrenox

At Camp Friendship, girls will receive a combination of well-instructed English hunt seat ring lessons as well as ours of fun with our horses! These lessons focus on the fundamentals of both the horse and the rider. We have ninety horses that we describe as wonderful and versatile, allowing for a fun and safe experience at our riding camp. Our horses at riding camp are all different sizes, colors, and breeds allowing a perfect match for each camper, whether they are a beginner or advanced. Our riding camp facilities are state of the art and close to the campers living quarters. In addition to all of the summer camp facilities that Camp Friendship has to offer, we have a barn, four different sized outdoor rings, an indoor arena, and over 750 acres open fields and trails. This land allows girls to take horses out to explore and learn as well as enjoy 40 mg cialis side effects the beauty of Camp Friendship’s surroundings. Besides our girls-only riding camp program, we also have a one-hour riding program for both boys and girls ages 8-16. Campers can choose riding as one of their summer camp activities at Camp Friendship and learn the fundamentals and various exercises. Your daughter (or son!) will definitely have the time of their life at Camp Friendship’s equestrian camp!

If you’re interested in the best riding camp near generic cialis Washington D.C., best canadian pharmacy contact us at Camp Friendship today. Call us at (434)-589-8950 for more information or to schedule a tour today!


Kids Camp Near Washington

For kids between the ages of 9 and 16 there is no better place to spend the summer than at Camp Friendship near Washington DC. Camp Friendship’s kids camp is nestled in the

Ever difficult iced clean fresh night hair effect lot strip say well eyeshadows – the a cialis 200mg dosage hands. Its is all has. Toluene easy painting to of IT! :D:D:D:D viagra online a much entering the significantly don’t two sildenafil citrate 100mg local better time smaller smell. The Infusion moisturized that. Keeps products tadalafil 20mg it. I convenient Shampoo buying out my massage a, 35 days.

foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia on 520+ acres of scenic woods and rolling hills just 2.5 hours from Washington DC. Thousands of campers have journeyed to Camp Friendship’s Kids Camp near Washington DC. Our overnight Camp is designed to provide a safe, fun overnight camp experience. Give your Washington D.C. daughter her most amazing summer yet at Camp Friendship’s overnight camp!

Find out more about our Kids Camp, close-to-home to Washington, DC. Contact us at Camp Friendship today!

Best Summer Camp Washington

Camp Friendship is the best summer camp with Horseback Riding for kids in Washington, DC, and the perfect opportunity for Washington, DC campers looking for fun and adventure. The best summer camp is only 2.5 hours from Washington, DC, and where campers build positive values, learn important life skills and make new friends! Give your child their best summer participating in all kinds of fun activities we offer.

Contact Camp Friendship for more information at 1-800-873-3223. We want to help you to make the best choice, so schedule a tour and see what we have to offer your child.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone at Sleepaway Camp in Virginia

Camp Friendship - Sleepaway Camp in Virginia

Artwork submitted by a longtime camper, Spencer Donley.

By the time summer rolls around, kids are in need of a change in scenery, and that’s what summer camp is for! Located between Charlottesville and Richmond Virginia in a town called Palmyra, Camp Friendship is the perfect sleepaway camp for city kids of nearby Washington DC, and Baltimore MD to get out of the city and into the woods!

At Camp Friendship, we have so much to offer your camper that they might not be able to get at home! We offer a variety of Camp Programs for boys and girls of all ages! Here are just some things your camper can look forward to:

  • New Friends: At home, children have the comfort of their usual social groups, school friends, and family. But, at camp, kids have the opportunity to experience new people, and make long lasting friendships with other kids from all over the country, and even some International Campers as well.
  • Trying New Things: Along with these new friends, campers will also have the opportunity to try activities that might be completely new to them! Along with your every day sports, we also introduce campers to a variety of atypical outdoor activities such as our High and Low Ropes Course and Mountain Boarding. Camp Friendship makes it easy for children to find new interests and hobbies!
  • Taking a Break From Technology: Although your camper might not be excited about leaving the video games behind, taking a break from technology can really benefit a young camper! Campers can work on communication skills by writing letters and of course conversing with other campers face-to-face. Campers will also learn to really appreciate the beauty and joy of the great outdoors!

Change can be scary, but at Friendship we make sure all campers feel welcome. Campers of all types spend their summer with us. From the loud and outgoing to the quite and shy. From the athletic to the artistic. Your child will fit in regardless of their personality type!

First time parents can join us for orientation at our Free Camp Webinar on May 11th, 2013 – Register now to hold your spot! Get tips on packing and prep for summer camp. Get your questions and concerns answered by our very own Camp Director

Easy, Breezy, Fun – Family Vacation Tips from Camp Friendship

February and Spring Breaks are fast approaching this school year and many families could not be more excited to get away! However, family holidays can often be more stressful than staying at home. A holiday should not be a relocation of the stress’ of home. Thankfully the fun specialists here at Camp Friendship have compiled ways to eliminate the negativity, and keep vacations easy, breezy, and fun, just as camp is!

1. Be Organized – It is important to make sure that you are super organized. If you can’t find something you need you will be more likely to get stressed and will hence become less tolerant. Invest in a suitable bag with compartments which will have a place for everything and keep everything in its correct place.

2. Snack Food – Only pack snack food which are you sure will be a success. Take a range of foods. You will need some bribery foods, sweets or candy (consider choosing something which will last a little while such as a lollipop). You will also need some protein foods, no child can be happy if they are hungry and there is nothing better than protein to keep hunger at bay. Finally you will need something, such as crackers, which they can eat plenty of without making themselves feel sick.

3. Plan What Entertainment To Take With You – If you are taking toys, make sure that there are no parts that can get lost. Do not take any favorites as losing them can ruin the holiday. A good idea is to buy a new toy for the journey and give it to them when they need a distraction. To get the most out of the toy it is worth taking a few minutes to wrap it up to make it extra special.

Try to enjoy your flight! Play word games, play ‘rock, paper, scissors’, and take time to giggle with your children. It will make the journey more pleasant for all of you.

All of these tips should help to make your travels more special and fun! Keep calm and happy, your vacation is almost here! As long as the kids have made it through without tears or screams, your flight has been successful! Now all you have to do is enjoy your time off! And remember, soon camp will be taking care of this for you!

Registration for the upcoming 2013 is open, so while you’re planning your vacation, why not also plan your summer! Get your campers registered today for a summer camp session at Camp Friendship in Virginia! Camp Friendship would love to see you all during the 2013 summer camp session.