While the summer of 2008 is rapidly coming to a close, and the 2009 camp season might seem a world away, now is actually the best time for families to find the perfect summer camp experience for the coming year. According to the American Camp Association, over 35 percent of camps begin accepting registrations between September and December, so time is of the essence!
Fear not parents. The beginning of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of learning and enrichment for your child. On the contrary, between the tremendous growth in academic-focused summer camps nationwide and the key life skills that traditional summer camps have always fostered in kids — including leadership, interpersonal skills, appreciation for the arts and the environment, independence, and personal responsibility — the camp experience will spark remarkable growth in over 10 million children across the country this summer.
Sending a child away to camp for the first time is an important milestone for most families, one that often includes a great deal of excitement, planning, anticipation, and perhaps even some anxiety and fear of the unknown. Once children become immersed in camp and are able to have fun, meet new friends, and take positive risks in a nurturing environment, they often don’t miss home at all. It is not uncommon though for first-time campers to have a level of trepidation before leaving home.
How is the economy affecting enrollment at summer camps? While no one yet knows the extent of a possible economic slowdown, it certainly seems possible that many American families may be faced with budgetary challenges this year.
Summer is fast approaching, but even if you haven’t made all your summer plans, there are still several reasons why it’s not too late to plan for camp—whether you’re a parent looking for great programs for your child, or you’re a student looking for the perfect summer job.
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, will be hosting a three-day camp for children this summer. The mini-camp, Clio’s Kids, introduces children to American history and life in historic Alexandria through artifacts, storytelling, singing and dancing, crafts, “old-fashioned” games, and visits to nearby historic places.
Families are invited to the 2008 Summer Camp Fair sponsored by the PTA Council of Alexandria from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the cafeteria of Minnie Howard School, 3801 West Braddock Road, Alexandria.
If you went to camp, you probably didn’t serve yourself lunch from a salad bar. Times have changed! Now the majority of camps offer salad bars – just one sign that camps’ menus are reflecting all our families’ changing tastes. This is one of many updated ways camps are encouraging the longstanding tradition of healthy behavior – in the dining hall as well as on the playing field or at the swimming pool.
Alexandria Archaeology will be hosting an archaeology camp for kids this summer, and registrations are being accepted now. Campers will learn professional excavating, recording, and artifact-processing methods as they help uncover Alexandria’s buried past while protecting historical resources.