Putting together a summer camp schedule can feel like a giant game of “would you rather.” Would you rather play sports or write a book? Would you rather learn to cook or design a video game? Would you rather sing a cappella or go fishing?
Parents and kids may have conflicting ideas of what makes the perfect summer camp experience – active or academic, inside or outside, crafty or athletic. Siblings might disagree on what camps they prefer. Kids may gravitate to favorite activities while parents try to steer them toward something new.
The good news is that it’s possible for families to design their own summer schedule with something for everyone. Summer programs such as CAMP IDS that offer half-day camps give families the flexibility to pair morning and afternoon sessions for a full day of activities that suit their children best.
With more than 100 camps for elementary and middle school, CAMP IDS has numerous options, all available at the same location. A child who wants to play basketball can do that in the morning at the same time as a sibling who hopes to learn hip hop, for example, and their parents can sign both of them up for art in the afternoon. While full-day camps are offered each week at CAMP IDS, the majority of camps are half-day, allowing families to mix and match and customize schedules to meet their unique needs.
Here are some popular strategies parents use when setting up their perfect summer:
Seek balance: Need to make sure your gamer gets some fresh air and focuses on something other than a computer screen? You might try pairing a computer camp such as virtual reality, Minecraft or app design with archery, soccer or flag football for the other half of the day.
Or if you’re looking for extra reading and math opportunities to stave off the summer academic slide, try balancing the time in the classroom with time to move – sports and recreation camps such as fishing, canoeing, obstacle courses and outdoor games provide great opportunities to get up and move.
Sample sports: Some kids just have to go, go, go, and sports camps can help young athletes hone their skills, try something new or compete with friends. In addition to camps focused on specific sports, CAMP IDS partners with VAST Sports Performance for camps that improve speed, movement and agility. A sports performance camp during one half of the day matches well with a single-sport camp for the rest of the day. If the Florida heat is a concern, look for an active indoor camp such as martial arts, matball, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball or physical education games.
Explore new territory: A half-day camp gives kids just the right amount of time to test the waters of something new. Pairing it with an old favorite ensures campers have a camp they love during the day as well as one that takes them outside their comfort zone. Favorite camps such as Legos, Babysitters Club, Mystical Muggles, Trailblazers and Junior Scientists are back at CAMP IDS this summer as well as the new additions of modern calligraphy and henna art, Robo Sumo, Games Galore, crime solving and an “Anything Goes” recreation camp.
Go all-in: Some students want to immerse themselves in their interests. Foodies often enroll in cooking camp in the mornings and Bake It-Take It to take home delicious desserts in the afternoon. Tap into technology talents with camp combos that expose students to coding, design and gaming – morning 3D printing camp needs imagination and technical skills while an afternoon of Racing Robots involves the engineering design process and programming. Creative kids can learn to express themselves through multiple art forms, whether they focus just on music or visual arts or dabble in dance and drama as well.
More than anything, summer should be fun. Choose a single full-day camp for one week only or spend June and July trying as many different activities as possible – any combination of camps is valuable. Summer camps let kids enjoy a break from the pressures of school while staying active and engaged. And there’s a good chance they’ll wind up making friends, discovering new interests and forming great memories in the process.
*Presented by Corbett Preparatory School of IDS | Originally published in April 2022