On the eve of what is meant to be New York’s first snowstorm of the season, I am frantically researching summer camps. Yes, I did say summer camps. Summer proper is still a good 6-7 months away, but if we want Monkey #1 to get into a camp that we will both be happy with, we need to decide like yesterday.
Being new to the neighborhood, I am relying on online reviews and information provided on camp websites. If you don’t have a website, I’m not likely to find out about you.
Here’s a rough idea of how I’m going to narrow down our summer camp choices.
1. Proximity: This of course is not the be all and end all, but walking distance from our house is a big plus. Big Monkey can comfortably walk just about anywhere now without complaining. I figure there is about a 15 minute radius from our house, it also helps if their is a bus route just in case for rainy days or for the end of the day if he is too tired to walk. Of course, my preference is to walk, especially in the summer.
2. Cost: I figure I’d get the 2 borrow things out of the way up front. Yes, cost is important. I don’t want our family to go bust over summer camp fees. It just doesn’t make sense. So far the camps I am looking at are a bit pricier than I originally thought. But I’ve shifted my perception of the price and realized most camps are good value. The cost often includes a t shirt, swim lessons and outings to local museums and parks.
3. Passion: Monkey #1 loves to sing and dance, likes languages and has a recent obsession with kung fu. In light of those 3 passions, I don’t think a science camp is his cup of tea. I think he’d prefer a generalist type of camp. We could push him into chess camp (yes, I’ve seen a chess camp) in hopes of turning him into a genius boy, but it’s summer camp. I want him to have fond memories of camp, make friends, have a laugh and grow as an individual.
4. Research: I don’t have alot of people to ask about camp, so I am turning to forums and google for more info. I’m also big on gut feelings, so I will be attending the New York Family Camp Fair at the end of January. I should be able to get a good feel for the people behind the camps as well as what they are offering.
It’s exciting times in our house! Monkey #1 has had 2 weeks at Pre-k and is starting to get into a routine. He is only going for 3 days a week at the moment and has homework 2 nights a week. I’ve calculated I have about 14 more years of homework ahead of me – and that’s just with him.
It’s crazy to think that in about 6 months he’ll be switching to somewhere new again. I’m hoping some of his little friends that he is making now will end up at the same camp. There is also the option of a camp that will be run out of the elementary school we are hoping he will go to for kindergarten. Oh, Kindergarten applications, that’s a whole other blog post!