Sleepaway Camp & Teen Summer Programs
How will I know when my child is ready for sleepaway camp?
Most families consider sleepaway summer camps for children 8 years and older. However, age is not the only factor in determining when a child is ready for sleep away camp. Consider your child’s level of interest and desire to explore this summer camp option. Consider your child’s experiences away from home without you. Has your child slept out at a friend’s house or spent a weekend away from home? Has your child been on a school overnight trip yet? Have they done a couple of days away?
Sleepaway camps in a foreign country can be quite daunting for children and in general we (and most camps) would not recommend they fly long distances (i.e. transatlantically) on their own before the age of 11 (Year 6/Grade 5) , unless of course they are used to doing this.
Alternatively, if a parent flies over with them to help settle them in, it can be fine for a child to then fly home on their own.
When should I begin my search for a sleep away camp?
Many families begin their research one and a half years before their child will attend the summer sleep away camp. Although it is not necessary to begin so far ahead, we do recommend this for families who plan to visit sleep away summer camps while they are in session. Most camps will provide tours for prospective families, by appointment, tthroughout the summer. These tours fill up quickly, so its important for families to make appointments as soon as possible.
There are many advantages to seeing a sleepaway camp while it is in session. Touring summer camps while they are “in action” allows children and parents to get a “feel” for the camp, its sense of spirit and camaderie, as well as the level of adult involvement and supervision.
Ideally if you are not touring summer camps in advance, the earlier you can book the more likely you are to get a place. Some summer camps fill their alloted spaces for the next season for some ages by the end of the current season. Others fill up very early in the autumn. There are also advantages to booking early as many camps offer tuition incentives to those who enroll early.
Rest assured that no matter when you begin your search, our expert guidance will assist you in finding the right summer camp for your child.
Are there different types of sleepaway camps?
There are many types of different sleep away camps.
1. TRADITIONAL SLEEP AWAY CAMPS offer a tremendous variety of activities including land sports, water sports, arts and crafts, adventure, drama and more. These summer camps can be “coed camps”, “boys camps”, “girls camps” or “brother- sister” camps, where the boys and girls have separate campuses and facilities. Traditional sleep away camps can range from tents and log cabins to modern cabins or be housed in residential boarding school facilities.
2 SPECIALTY SUMMER CAMPS offer focused activities in a particular area. These include sports camps, fine arts camps, digital and IT camps, performing arts summer programmes, academic and travel programmes.
3. SPECIAL NEEDS CAMPS meet the needs of a wide range of children. These camps provide an outdoor summer camp experience along with a therapeutic environment.
What factors should I consider when selecting summer camps?
1. PROGRAMME FLEXIBILITY – Summer camps recognize that children thrive in different environments, which is why programming options will vary from camp to camp. These options can range from FULL CHOICE to STRUCTURED. Full choice summer camp programmes will allow campers to select all of their activities. A structured summer camp will allow some elective activities, however campers generally follow a pre-determined schedule.
2. LENGTH OF STAY – Today there are many summer camp options. Most N. American camps offer anywhere from 1 to 7 week sessions, often starting in late June running into mid-late August, when a Family camp may be offerred. British campers often join for the second half of the season after British schools break. Many camps only offer 2, 4 or Full session options, with some offering a 1 week taster only for certain younger age groups to allow them to try out the camp prior to coming for a longer session the next year.
The majority of European camps run from early July into mid August and are normally 1-6 weeks.
3, DISTANCE FROM HOME – Different geographic regions provide different summer camp environments. Consider the environment you want for your child along with your level of comfort. Check into the policies re parental contact. Can they call home whenever or is it limited? Keep in mind that distance from home is not directly related to homesickness.
4. PRICE – Traditional sleepaway camp can range from £500 to £1500 a week. Be certain to inquire about “extras” such as laundry, canteen, horseback riding, trips or transportation, which may not be included in camp tuition.
How do I choose the right summer camp for my child?
THE CAMP EXPERTS UK will guide you in identifying the individual needs of your family. The more you can tell us about what you and your child are looking for, the better we will be able to match you with ideal summer camp. With our extensive knowledge of hundreds of sleep away summer camps and teen programmes, we will recommend the program that best meets your needs. We have done the research and we want to share our knowledege with you – free of charge. Relying on the CAMP EXPERTS UK as your personal summer camp directory will ensure that you will make an educated and informed choice for your child.
Your child is unique. Let us assist you in finding the right programme. Together, we will find a camp that will provide your child with a lifetime of positive summer camp memories.
Is summer camp a way to help make the transition to boarding school?
Are you considering boarding school but unsure how your child will cope? Is your child worried about what life away from home would be like without their old school friends?
Summer camp is an excellent way to give your child an early taste of life away from what they are used to. While they might have been away with their current school on a 2-3 day overnight trip from Year 4 onwards, they probably have not been away from home without the comfort of people they know.
A successful summer camp session doing something they love to do in an enviroment that suits them will boost a child’s self-confidence enormously. They will be confident they can succeed and you can be confident that they will make the transition easily.
Your child is unique. Let us help you find the right programme that can help them make the transition to boarding school. Together, we can ensure not only a lifetime of happy summer memories but happy school ones too.
How do language courses work?
All language courses usually share some common characteristics:
* Students will be tested on the first day and placed in the appropriate class
* Students will be tested at the end and given a report detailing their work.
* Students are taught by qualified language teachers
Some language courses have no minimum requirements. Others will require students to sign a pledge to continue to speak in the language throughout their stay. In most schools, students will learn both formal and colloquial usage.
The two main types of language courses are:
1. Total Immersion – Classroom Based. Students live in residential accomodation or local homestays. There can be a mix of languages being taught at the camp or just one. Classroom activities will be mixed with different project based activites that require use of the language. Sports etc are offered but not a main focus of the programme. All extra curricular aactivities will be taught in the language being learn’t.
2. Total Immerision + Sport/Activity. Students live in residential accomodation or in some locations in traditional tents and cabins. Students will be classroom based for half the day and spend the other half focusing on a chosen elective (sport, fine arts, dance etc). This elective will be taught in the language offering maximum learning opportunities.
While most language courses will offer excursions to local places of interest to aide cultural immersion, some focus more on this aspect and others less. Some camps will have local students of the same age at the camp to help the “language students” get to know others of their same age and improve their language skills in a more natural way. Some camps will allow friends to room together, others not as they want to ensure maximum language learning.
The best way to know which type of camp is right for your child is to talk to Camp Experts UK. We will work with you to find the right fit.
What age is the right age to go on sleepaway camp?
THERE IS NO RIGHT AGE TO GO AWAY TO SLEEP AWAY CAMP! EACH CHILD IS UNIQUE AND UNDERSTANDING THEIR NEEDS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.
Most families consider sleep away summer camps for children 8 years and older. However, age is not the only factor in determining when a child is ready for sleep away camp. Consider your child’s level of interest and desire to explore this summer camp option. Consider your child’s experiences away from home without you. Has your child slept out at a friend’s house or spent a weekend away from home? Has your child been on a school overnight trip yet? Have they done a couple of days away?
Sleepaway camps in a foreign country can be quite daunting for children and in general we (and most camps) would not recommend they fly long distances (i.e. transatlantically) on their own before the age of 11( Year 6/Grade 5) , unless of course they are used to doing this.
Alternatively, if a parent flies over with them to help settle them in, it can be fine for a younger child to then fly home on their own. Most camps will be able to arrange for supervised transportation to the nearest international airport where your child can be then placed as an unaccompagnied minor on a flight home. To do so will require some specific paperwork with the airline in advance so early planning is required.
I’m thinking of a camp in America but can’t fly with my child? How does this work?
Going to camp in a foreign country can be a daunting experience for a pre-teen in particular. Ideally a parent or close family member dropping them off is the best situation. If the person travelling with the child is not a family member please remember that an appropriate form designating them as a temporary guardian may be needed. This information is available from your airline.
However it is simply often not possible to take your child to camp. Most airlines will allow unaccompanied minors to travel if booked in advance via their own service. Each airline has its own rules and it is important to check with your preferred carrier before you book both the flight and the camp.
In these cases, most camps can arrange for solo travellers to be met at the airport and transferred to the camps. This may result in an additional fee.
Can I contact the camp directly to chat to them?
OF COURSE! We are simply a FREE advisory service. THe final choice of camp is up to you and if you have any questions you should definitely talk to the camps directly.
Once we have given you some options, the camps will send you brochures and DVDs directly. Please go through them in detail. Feel free to either call us with any questions or ring the camp directly. Either is fine with us!
Are there single sex camps?
There are girl only camps, boy only camps, coed camps and brother-sister camps, where the boys and girls are on separate campuses.
Where the camps are coed, girls and boys will not room together but be in separate cabins or residential units.
My child has allergies. Is it possible for them to go to camp?
Most summer camps today can cope with a wide range of allergies. Camp Experts can ensure that we will only recommend camps that can deal with your child’s particular condition.
Common allergies that most camps can now deal with include:
Most camps will have qualified nurse and or doctor on site at all times and many of the staff will be first aid trained. If your child has an Epi pen, the camp will either require them to carry it with them or it be left with the medical staff.
If you do have a child with an allergy we would recommend you talk to the camp directly about your child’s condition. Evaluate how far the camp is from a hospital if that is a serious issue.
I’m Jewish and looking for Jewish camps. Do you have any?
CAMP EXPERTS can recommend a wide range of Jewish camps, primarily in the United States but also in Israel and Spain. They range in age from 5 -18 and there are both day and sleep away options.
The camps range in flavour from mildly religous to highly observant. There are also camps where Kosher is kept.
Additionally, we represent different groups that offer tours of Israel.
Can we visit a camp the summer before to check it out?
Most camps will provide tours for prospective families, by appointment, tthroughout the summer. These tours fill up quickly, so its important for families to make appointments as soon as possible.
There are many advantages to seeing a sleep away camp while it is in session. Touring summer camps while they are “in action” allows children and parents to get a “feel” for the camp, its sense of spirit and camaraderie, as well as the level of adult involvement and supervision.
I don’t live in the UK. Can you help me?
Wherever you live in the world CAMP EXPERTS can help. Just send us an email or fill in the form on this site.
If you live in the UK, Eire, the Middle East or Eastern Europe, the Camp Expert UK office will be back in touch. Otherwise we will forward your enquiry to one of our colleagues who covers your region. Alternatively, feel free to contact them directly.
Are camps just in the summer?
While the majority of the programmes we recommend are during the summer months we also have programmes that run all year (teens), during the winter school breaks (language camps with ski and snowboarding) and during the half term periods. Additionally there are Easter camps not only for snow sports but also for academic enrichment programmes.
We can also help older students on Gap Years and in finding the right University semester programmes.
If you are looking for something outside of the summer months get in touch as we can let you know quickly what is available.
Your child is unique. Let us assist you in finding the right overnight summer camp or teen program. Together, we will find the overnight camps that will provide your child with a lifetime of positive summer camp memories! Contact a sleepaway camp expert.
For free recommendations, follow us on Facebook!