• Florida Family Living

Summer Camp - Things to Consider

SPONSORED BY: Sarasota Ballet

Choosing the right summer camp for your child can be a daunting task, but summer camp can reap many rewards for both you and your child. Building friendships, developing interests and skills, experiencing new and exciting things and so much more—all of these things are benefits of summer camp.

Picking the Right Camp

How does a parent select the right camp for their child? Start with determining the type of camp!

Traditional camps that offer a little bit of everything—this could be swimming, soccer, hiking, arts and crafts and more.

Academic camps that focus on science, math, or even creative writing. These camps are an excellent way to give your child some extra help in an area he may be weak in during the school year, or you may want to give your child a head start by preparing for the upcoming school year.

Adventure camps that are all about outdoor hobbies like rafting, mountaineering, or horse-back riding.

Performing arts camps that specialize in theatre, music, film, dancing, languages or painting, sketching and sculpture.

Sports camps that let children sharpen their skills in tennis, soccer,

or baseball.

Most of these camps are day camps—that is, camps that your child attends during the day and is home by dinner. These camps are perfect for children as young as 5 right up to teenagers and tend to run for a short duration—usually by the week—and therefore offer your child the opportunity to explore different interests and hobbies.

There are also overnight camps that become suitable for children as they reach 9 or 10. While an overnight camp isn’t for everyone, it offers your child the opportunity to pick up really valuable social and life skills and chances to take on new responsibilities.

Some kids may experience separation anxiety and homesickness—yet most children seem to adapt in a matter of a few days given that there are many camp directors skilled in the delicate art of wiping away the tears of first-time overnight campers.

Things to Consider

As a parent, you know your child best—their hobbies, interests and comfort level with trying new things. Ask these questions in your quest to finding the right camp:

1. What do you and your child want to gain from camp?

2. What are the special interests that your child wants to explore?

3. Does your child have social anxiety, physical or intellectual limitations that may cause challenges?

4. What kind of emphasis will your child profit from the most?

Parents also need to keep in mind that the summer camp experience is about their child—and not them. It’s important you don’t force your child to attend a camp that really interests you. You may love art, but your kid may have no interest in becoming the next Picasso. Chances are she’ll have a miserable experience and may resist trying camps in the future.

Expression Through Music and Art

Thinking about an art camp? Expression is so important for the development of children. The ability

to express thoughts, feelings and ideas is fundamental to the exploration of their interests.

Arts summer camps help kids

perform that visual medium of self-expression. Performing arts camps allow for that special amount to focus entirely on either singing, dancing, acting or musical instruments. All of which excel at the creation of expression in children. It’s important to act on these as early as possible, as it can be one of the main factors of a healthy adult relationship.

Music Camps

Music camps come in all shapes and sizes, some focus on classical, some on classic rock, but there is one for everyone. The more your child loves this type of music the more they will want to spend that summer improving their talent. Many arts camps culminate in a full-scale production at the end of the session, allowing family and friends a preview of what they’ve learned. This feeling of accomplishment isn’t limited to performing arts. Many camps that focus on visual art or mixed media, including painting, pottery or photography, send campers home with one or more finished projects to keep, fulfilling a sense of achievement and completion, as well as a newly found form of self-expression.

Performing Arts

Does your child love to sing or dance? Try a performing arts camp. Allow them to improve their skills by doing exactly what they love. Arts camps allow them to perform in productions, and at the same time infuse themselves into the song or dance. The performance is often looked back on so fondly, and even can shape their interests and inspiration for the future. In case you haven’t caught on yet, learning the arts can do truly remarkable things for your child. Plus, the arts are ideal right now because they are versatile. They may be taught in-person or through virtual art summer camp classes.

Self Confidence through the Arts

Involvement in the arts, like ones focusing on sports can be a great place for the improvement of self-confidence. As long as that atmosphere is based around acceptance and the positive feedback to promote creativity. Allow your child to live their lives with the passion and memories of their youth. A study of children who grew up learning the arts revealed that “students who chose an arts elective not only had better grades in elementary school than their peers, but also showed stronger social, behavioral, language, motor, and cognitive skills.

Explore New Hobbies

As we know, not all kids will find their arts passion immediately. The exploration of several may be needed. Most children will find they will excel at specific things and enjoy using those tools to grow. Arts summer camps also provide the opportunity for both specific and general art instruction, so children can focus on one medium or explore multiple types of artistic endeavors. One in six young children experience symptoms of anxiety or depression. Children in art summer camps indirectly learn how to manage these symptoms from a young age.

The summer months provide an exciting time for kids to develop new interests, explore their environments, work on refining special skills, make new friends or build on existing friendships. For an easy, online camp finder, visit www.floridafamilyliving.com


for more information on Sarasota Ballet’s summer camp:

sarasotaballet.org or call 941.225.6520

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