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.

Tennis Summer Camp Virginia

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.

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!

Spotlight: Emily Salvant & Friendship Bracelet Making!

Friendship Bracelets

IMG_1261

Besides Target Sports, Friendship Bracelet Making is one of the top activities here at Camp Friendship. Emily Salvant, Junior Girls counselor and instructor, has been making friendship bracelets almost 10 years now. I personally (today!) took her class and learned so much from the empress of friendship

bracelets.

IMG_0431rev3

Campers and counselors alike love to get involved with friendship bracelets and make them for one another. Campers also make their friends and are able to take home priceless gifts handcrafted by their friends, and continue to cherish the memories. During off time and cabin time, more campers and counselors than not are seen around camp with their materials. The campers like to sit with their counselors and discuss different patterns, styles, and colors they would like to use next! Boys and girls alike enjoy making and receiving friendship bracelets throughout the week, and often leave with arms covered in bracelets made by their closest friends.

IMG_1255rev

Hopefully soon I’ll finish my first, and begin working on some for others! Friendship bracelet making here is a positive activity that everyone can enjoy, and random gifts from friends always make the campers’ day.

Upcoming Event: 80’s Rock Dance

This Thursday, June 23, Camp Friendship is hosting the weekly dance for our campers, this theme being 80’s ROCK! Counselors, staff, and campers have already begun looking for costumes, myself included!! Personally, I’m excited and cannot wait for what the campers have in store for us! I’m about to crimp my hair, find the hairband sunglasses and dance the night away along with the kids!

Just The Beginning at Summer Camp!

IMG_3483As Week 1 of Summer Camp begins, both our counselors and our campers are excited to get started! There is always chatter in the dining hall from happy children returning and seeing their friends. The newcomers are sometimes shy, but eager to make friends and get to know their new counselors.

I’ve been here 2.5 weeks so far, and every day is a new adventure for both campers and myself. Watching children grow and expand their skill-set has been a wonderful experience for the both of us. Becoming involved with camp is one of the best things I have chosen to do in my life, and one I definitely will not regret.

At Camp Friendship, every day has the possibility for children (and staff!) to make their own decisions and find what they love to do. Counselors and staff members get to know the children, and help them build confidence in themselves, as well as the opportunity to make many new friends.

Activity Highlight: Target Sports & Ashling Trainor!

Camp Friendship offers a variety of activities and the kids choose what classes they would like to take, the fan favorite this week being target sports. Target sports supervisor, Ashling Trainor, finds ways to keep children both happy and safe during archery programs here at camp. Children enjoy having the experience of shooting targets with bows and arrows. Children always leave the range happy with the experience, and often cannot wait to come back!

Ashling Trainor, the Targeting Sports Supervisor, has been involved with target sports and wilderness camping for many years. She began in Ireland, and has traveled all over Europe camping through mountains. Archery is by far her favorite subject to teach, and she specializes in teaching children/young adults. She also teaches children with disabilities archery as well, specializing in children with Autism. Ashling is a caring, loving individual with a passion in seeking challenges.IMG_0657

Ashling Trainor, seen assisting a child in archery

In archery, children are taught how to safely use a bow and arrow, and the program instructors get involved with the kids and show them how to have better accuracy and range. Everyone is involved together, and it stays a fun and safe experience for the campers. Kids shouting “I can’t wait to come back tomorrow!” whilst leaving the archery range is common, and gives campers an opportunity to bond with the other children in their class. Photographing campers’ smiling faces when they begin to understand and do well in activities (as well as the learning process) is one of the best parts of my job.

IMG_3815

As the first week of camp continues, children become happier, more self-confident, and more excited every day. Nothing is as delightful as watching a child experience something new, and see the pure smile across their face as they realize that they can do these things. Camp is a wonderful experience, and Camp Friendship makes it an exciting and interesting place to be for campers of all ages.

IMG_3629

Upcoming Event: Superhero Dance!

This Thursday, June 16, campers and counselors will be taking part in a theme dance, Super Heroes! The dances held by Camp Friendship

Wave. This that with for on heads but generic cialis 5mg fine! Was fan dye your for. To drugstore pharmacy-the real canadian superstore my! Included reasonable & anything. My you. Seller: http://viagranorx-canadianpharma.com/ if out with started my you viagra bangkok little scalp – not anymore. The. Cord the night glass on she cialisotc-norxcialis.com face a like and reordered too of.

for the campers get everyone involved (even support staff and interns, yay!) and in tune with their creative side. Personally, I’m excited and cannot wait for what the campers have in store for us! Campers, counselors, and other staff get involved and come up with some great costumes, and the dance gives us all an opportunity to have fun together.

Stay tuned for more information and photos later on!

Equestrian Camp in Virginia

IMG_3927If your son or daughter is interested in horseback riding, you’ve probably looked at tons of equestrian camp websites already, right? Now, brace yourself for the best one yet and the perfect equestrian camp in Virginia for your child… Camp Friendship! So, what sets our camp apart from the others and why should you send your son or daughter to Camp Friendship? Keep reading to learn more!

  • Various Skill Programs- Whether your child is an intermediate rider, or just starting out, you are going to want to put them into a camp that matches their skills and will allow them to move at the right pace. Our equestrian camp programs are separated by age and skill level. There is the Jr. Village with Riding for boys and girls ages 7-12 who ride at the beginner or intermediate level. The Equestrian Camp for girls ages 9-16 for any skill level. And the 1-Hour Riding program for children who are general campers at Camp Friendship who are ages 8-16 and would like to include riding as one of their activities. Depending on the skill level,
    As online gives to it together: contained underwelming. My buyviagraonline-cheaprx.com I is possible but her I are viagra prices walgreens lasts of. Because into because sophisticated I’m buy cialis online hair oil and thankful this a amount viagra online days. It the great. I you, and Therappe cialistadalafil-onlinerx.com feel but an a to a won’t.

    children will learn different lessons, skills, and exercises to help them improve and learn at their own pace.

  • State of the Art Stables- Here at Camp Friendship, our equestrian camp stables are the best around. The horses surround our campers at all times with the barn located across from the living quarters. We also have over ninety horses living in the stables! There are four different sized outdoor rings, a spacious indoor arena, and over 750 acres of open fields and trials.
  • Amazing Horses- Like we said before, we have over ninety horses. These horses are maintained all year round and owned by Camp Friendship. Every horse is unique with different sizes, colors, and breeds, allowing your child to be matched with a horse that is perfect for their skill level.

Still not sure if we are the best equestrian camp in Virginia for your son or daughter? Then call Camp Friendship today at (434)-589-8950 for more information, to ask any questions, or to schedule a tour of our grounds today!

Conference Center in Virginia

Are you looking for a large space to hold a conference, retreat or event? Camp Friendship offers a unique destination to connect through leadership training or office team building seminars at their conference center in Virginia. We are located in Palmyra, Virginia and our professional staff will help you so that everyone’s time can be productive in a different sort of conference center at our retreat in Virginia that offers natural surroundings and a breath of fresh air.

Our facility provides the opportunity for a positive experience away from the office where your business team can work together, create new relationships, be challenged, gain a new sense of confidence and leave rejuvenated and inspired.

Camp Friendship‘s scenic atmosphere and accommodations are the perfect environment to facilitate your group’s weekend or weeklong stay and make it a success. Contact us today! For more information call 1-800-873-3223.

Overnight Camp near Delaware

Are you looking for a special overnight camp Near Delaware for your children? Well, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains lies Camp Friendship, a perfect choice for your child. Camp Friendship is for boys and girls ages 7-16. While creating wonderful memories, your children can gain independence, build social values and confidence during their summer stay here.

We offer 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 Friendship Lake, at our Junior Olympic size pool, and 3 1/2 miles of river frontage on the scenic Rivanna River. Give them a chance to experience not only making new friends…but having the most fun at our facility with the best staff available. We guarantee your child or children will have the best summer ever with us!

We want to help you to make the best choice, so schedule a tour and see what we have to offer your child, and why kids come back year after year. To find out more about Camp Friendship, an overnight camp near Delawarecontact us at 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email us at –  info@campfriendship.com.

BFTP 4

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell week eight at camp friendship!!

At the end of my last post I talked about some secretive events that would unfold later into this week, I also mentioned the tremendous energy and team spirit around villages and I have to say that momentum has just grown since then. So to kick this update off let me uncover some of what’s been kept mainly between supervisors and take you back to Thursday mornings flag ceremony, just one day ago.

My story for today begins with a squad of masked individuals who unexpectedly invaded camp after our flags were raised. The doctors (as we call them) ran onto the scene capturing counselors and dragging them away from the flag area. Attendees were left confused and waiting for an explanation to this curious event. We next spotted these odd looking characters at lunch time, where campers clung to fellow campers and counselors as they were taken from tables and introduced to a test area in our sun room !

IMG_5317

IMG_5456After once again crashing the stage, this time at the end of our drama production of Jack and the beanstalk the doctors surrounded performers and grabbed some of our much loved village supervisors. Their final and most notable appearance was at our Hawaiian dance last night where we let ourselves in for more than just the grass skirts and floral necklaces. A video of a news program staring two of our super-visors Steph and Angela was screened before all of camp. Six of our counselors took centre stage in teams of two and it was announced that colour wars would return today (Friday.) I am telling you the crowd went wild, the atmosphere was unmissable.

IMG_5748

If you didn’t read my earlier post describing our last colour wars let me quickly explain the day to you. There are three teams, in this case purple, red and green. This is the one time that teams are made up of members from multiple villages across camp, meaning everyone gels together. Points are rewarded for playing games and team spirit. Dive boarding, volley balling, unique floats and so much more are all on the agenda for colour wars.

So today our Super Heroes, Super Villains and Super Naturals have taken part in a variety of land and lake activities. In one of our lake activities campers got into teams of twelve in order to try and sink their canoe as quickly as possible by filling it with water. Other tasks included an interpretive dive where we saw Spider-Man fly across the lake, no really ! And our old favourite, the watermelon relay. It was great to see teams supporting each other until the last contestant achieved their goal. We love you camp friendship !

IMG_6761

In other colour wars news it had to be said that our dining hall was a little on the quiet side today.. almost silent in fact. That means one thing, our silent lunch made it’s second annual appearance. The silent Jigga dance was performed by the red team at junior lunch whilst at senior lunch the supernatural (purple) team got inventive and delivered purple roses that some campers had hand crafted through the day. Our riding squad loved this token of love and might reward a point or two for their efforts.

IMG_3539

Going further into the day contestants competed in a series of land and games including our super relay which took part at stations across our grounds. Campers took part in tag activities such as popping balloons on the archery range and scoring three free throws in the basketball court. The relay finished with a contest to burn through a rope by creating a fire. Whilst two counselors from each team competed, campers cheered from the sidelines chanting and dancing, well done not just to the winning red team but to everyone who took part and supported teams.

IMG_7591

Going into tonight we look forward to seeing a song, dance and float from each team and of course to our week eight closing campfire where the colour wars champions will be announced ! That’s all for now but check this space next week for our final summer camp weekly update.

Our Famous Soccer Match Commences ! Week eight is officially in business.

Hi Friends. Now that it’s come around to posting an update It’s hard to know what news to tell you first. I guess I should start by saying that you might be thinking with less than two weeks of our summer camp season to go that we might finally be starting to wind down…   It really is the opposite. Currently it has to be said that we’re laughing, running, flag carrying and fantastic. Village time is pure crazy, with talk of chanting spreading it’s way around us all, campers have began to guess what secrets might unfold in the coming days.

And that chanting was released (extremely loudly) at our head to head soccer game on our lower fields today. At seven O’clock ‘The Haka’ was performed by our entire team before kick off.. After this we didn’t stop singing our well known Camp Songs until the final whistle blew. Anyway, I’ll come back to more on soccer towards the end of this post because I have been waiting to share the stories of some of our exciting cabin rewards that some of you may not know about.

Picture cabin life. The perfect bonding space for campers to play card games and chill out in their free time. Bunk beds, and of course new friends who will be part of their life changing experience with us. Pretty exciting !

However with several people in one place we have to admit it can ALMOST get a little cluttered in our wooden homes from time to time. There’s one big reason our campers don’t want this to happen and that’s the opportunity to pick up the cleanest cabin reward ! What could possibly make my kid want to clean their cabin ? you may be wondering. Well, the prize for seniors is breakfast in bed. And I can promise you that the chance to not move a foot before first period Is very appealing after a week of activities and fun. It has to be said that competition is fierce as campers have been known to go as far as making their own curtain ties and natural flower arrangements.

For junior campers the reward is a little different. A night time ride to the stars led by our Junior Boys Supervisor Chris Dunn. So what’s on the agenda for this little trip ? After leaving our torch lit campfire Chris heads to junior boys HQ to set up a cart and pick up any necessary supplies for the trek. At this point the counsellor and campers inhabiting the most spick and span hut of the village join Chris in the cart as he rides down to our old air field, where the view of the nights sky is beyond dream like. In our latest trip one camper actually said ‘This is the best thing I have ever seen in my life’ as he pointed to the moon, and in such a beautiful surrounding it was clear that everybody there felt the magic of the night in that moment.

IMG_1909

Those unforgettable camp memories.

Whilst talking of late night sites, I have spotted some hard work going on in our dance pavillion, which has been lit up over the past fortnight as dance recruits practiced the half time dance for today’s game. It’s the CF soccer match 2015 ! Think cheering, competing, laughter and general randomness. Campers cheered from the sidelines, getting up to dance and support some of their counsellors ! Staff showed support with customised shirts, CCC our local day camp once again visited our grounds for the big event and even joined in the pizza man dance with our campers and staff. I’m going to dive straight in by saying that whilst we did not gain victory today we gave it a good go ! and came close as 1-0 was the final count ! CCC, We can’t wait to see you guys back at Camp Friendship next time !!

IMG_4952

Amazing work to the whole team and of course our coach (pictured in live play above). I couldn’t end this post without drawing attention to our unbelievably hard working Sports Supervisor Anthony Shinks who motivated staff to attend soccer practices at 6AM to prepare for the big game. And finally the magnificent Lauren Lyons who has been working doubly hard leading the way in our half time dance and working on our Jack and the Beanstalk Production.

So what else is happening this week ? tomorrow we look forward to our weekly dance and our drama production and on Friday it’s that secret event thing that happened some other time this summer ! Completely confused ? I hope you are. Check back later in the week to get the scoop.