How to Choose the Right Summer Camp for Kids

Luckily, I have three little ones who adore camp. Some kids may not relish the idea of straying far from home and Mom—but not mine! I drop them off in the morning, grab a rushed half-hug, and watch as they hurry to join friends and fellow campers.

My kids just finished second grade and are spending their summer in some outrageously fun day camps, but they’re now old enough to start longer sleep-aways which will take things to a whole new level. I have fond memories of my own childhood camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains and want that experience for my kids—so the question is not if, it’s which one?


Summer camps for kids come in almost as many shapes and sizes as the kids themselves. From specialized adventures in sailing, science, dancing, drama, riding, and rocking out, to general outdoor fun, the variety is enough to make a mother’s head spin!

With so many great options, the choice comes down largely to personality and price. Fun and friends are priorities for kids, while safety is essential for parents. In the end, choosing the right camp involves looking at the options, asking a lot of questions, and deciding which offers the right mix of adventure, growth, and security.

Here are some key things to consider when finding the perfect fit for your camper…and you!