SuperCamp, one of the world's leading summer enrichment camps has ten tips for parents considering academic summer camps for their sons and daughters this summer.
1) When reviewing different camps, visit their websites. The websites should provide a detailed description of the programs, as well as information on the summer line-up of camps, dates and locations.
2) Look for summer camp videos from each of the programs under consideration. These videos should provide a good indication of what the activities are like at each camp. Make sure it's not just a summer camp version of school. Students need to be inspired and re-energized by a summer enrichment program, rather than feeling as if they're in summer school.
3) Get references from parents of former campers. Most videos should contain some summer camp testimonials, but the enrollment departments of each camp should have a reference list available for interested parents. If a camp doesn't have references, then that's a big red flag.
4) Look for studies on the results of the summer program. For example, a major independent study was conducted with over 6,000 of SuperCamp's 56,000 graduates, which the camp provides information on at its website.
5) Find out about the staff. What do they do the rest of the year? What kind of training do they have in the curriculum being delivered at camp? Are they dynamic and engaging, which will give kids a break from the school grind.
6) Ask about the history of the program. How long has it been around? Where has the camp been held in the past? Who started the camp and is that person still associated with it?
7) Determine what is being taught at each summer enrichment program. Is the subject matter very limited in scope and therefore, not appropriate to your child's needs or grade level. Or are there skills that apply to multiple subject levels.
8) See if the camp offers anything other than pure academics that can provide enrichment to the students in other ways. SuperCamp, for instance, divides its curriculum between learning skills and life skills that cover such areas as communication and leadership.
9) How broad an age range of students are grouped together in one camp. The value of a camp that teaches to too wide a range is diluted. It's better to look for camps specifically for middle school students or high school students.
10) Know that even if the student is somewhat reluctant to attend an academic camp this summer, the right camp can pay dividends for that student for years to come. Know, too, that between the new friends they make and the learning that takes place, most students begin to enjoy the camp within the first 24 hours.
More information on SuperCamp is available by calling 800-285-3276.