Summertime means many things to many people, but for children it is a time to play outside all day long.
Families in upstate New York have many options for summer activities. Hundreds of summer camps offer overnight or day camping experience for children of all ages, interests and abilities in the Catskill and Adirondack regions.
While many camping experiences include the whole family, there is something about going away to an overnight camp that enriches childhood.
“Attending camp can be an unforgettable experience for young children,” said M. Kwan Chan-House, doctor of pediatric medicine at A.O. Fox Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Healthcare Associates. “It can have a positive effect on their psychological development, self=esteem and independence.”
Choosing a camp that is right for the child and affordable for the parents is the first step in preparing for a successful camping experience. Prices range from about $500 per week to several thousand dollars per week. Often camps will focus on activities such as water sports, team sports, arts, theater or nature. There are many camps in the region that serve special-needs children.
The American Camp Association website for the New York and New Jersey regions has many camping options listed. The site is user-friendly and provides search criteria including price, co-ed or single-sex, activity-specific and area-specific, to help narrow the field.
“Before choosing a camp, parents should evaluate their child’s interests, skills and overall well-being to make sure the child can effectively participate in a particular camp environment,” Chan-House said. “Parents should also medically and psychologically prepare their child for camp, and work with their pediatrician, camp health providers and administrators on a pre-camp health evaluation.”
Making sure the child has a positive camping experience takes a little preparation and organization.