The right summer camp has the potential to support a child’s social and emotional development and provide opportunities for growth. Our friends at Lucy Daniels Center share their tips for selecting the right camp for your child and making the most of those camp experiences.

Pick A Camp Where Success Is Almost Guaranteed

  • The right camp should feel safe and comfortable enough for a child to manage the challenges and navigate the social aspects independently.
  • The ideal camp environment should encourage a child to reach just beyond their comfort zone and try new experiences.

Determining The Risk For Your Child

  • Children build healthy self-esteem when they feel competent and successful, and the most important source of this comes from experiences where challenges are met and mastered.
  • Parental instinct and judgment play a big role here: If you are feeling unsure, and perhaps even anxious about the experience, listening to those instincts is often the best way to go.

Different Rules For Different Children

  • Some children are particularly resilient in the face of challenges and failures, and parents of these children can take more risks when signing their children up for new experiences.
  • Other children respond to the same challenges and failures with embarrassment or anxiety, and they may try to protect themselves from failing again by pulling back and hesitating, or even refusing to take new risks.
  • Parents of children who respond in this way have to be more mindful of the emotional risks involved in signing them up for new experiences.

Making the Choice

  • Finding the right summer camp can be as simple as finding one that is centered on one or more of your child’s interests.
  • However, also consider how your child does in a number of settings (e.g., home, school, and play groups) to help predict how successful he or she would feel at a particular camp.

Choosing a camp that meets all of your child’s developmental needs—socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually—can provide for a rewarding and enriching summer experience. For the full post from Lucy Daniels Center, click here to visit their blog.