Summer Camp – Should You Send Your Kids?

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Summer camp can be a life changing, memorable experience for your kids.  They can learn team work and skills while expanding their independence and confidence.

These days, there are so many kinds of summer camps – overnight camps, day camps, traditional, sports, music, science camp, etc. that choosing a camp (or whether to send your child) can be overwhelming.

Assuming that you have a child who is open to experiencing camp, how do you choose the type of camp to send them to?

#1 – Budget

Camps can range in price from $150 to $1600/week in Alberta! Day camps are more affordable than overnight camps. You’ll have to decide on a budget that you can afford for your child or children. Some organizations will “sponsor” a kid’s camp experience. Do your research. Local libraries and family support organizations often offer drop off day activities which are a good free alternative if you have a tight budget.

#2 – Day Camp vs Overnight Camp

More affordable day camps mean dropping your child off each morning and picking them up later in the afternoon for 4 or 5 days. They are with the same group for the entire week and tend to learn new skills, develop routines and make friends while participating in fun group activities.

Overnight camps can be life changing. Kids learn skills and become independent while making amazing memories and life-long friends. However, being away from parents at night might not be for every child – Is your child ready to be away from you at bedtime? Is your child responsible enough to get ready for bed on their own? Will you be okay with your child being in someone else’s care for a week? If so, then overnight camp it is!

Traditional vs Focused

If your child is keen on sports or athletics, they’ll be happy in a traditional camp (traditional camps usually have a significant recreational activity component which may include archery, canoeing, hiking, outdoor games, etc). Non-athletic kids may prefer a camp which focuses on other skills such as science, arts, music, writing,


Specialized day camps may be far from your home, making two daily drives per day unrealistic.  Sometimes, parents camp near by or stay in a hotel while their child experiences one of these focused camps.  It’s best to read the camp reviews when considering a camp far from your home.  Overnight camps require you to drop off your child on a specific date, at a specific time, and then return 5 to 7 days later to pick up your child.  Local day camps are a convenient option for many parents who can drop their child off before work and pick them up after work.  Consider your choices based on your work schedule, your child’s interests and your budget.

Guardians of the Parks Summer Day Camp

We host our own summer day camp  at the Pembina Nordic Centre in July.  Guardians of the Parks is a nature focused day camp where kids spend most of their time outdoors, exploring trails, learning about the plants and animals that live there. We mix up the activities – science, nature, arts & crafts, team challenges, hiking and a little sports.  Older kids may participate in fishing or archery (depending on the availability of the archery lane and safety at the river).

Register your kids in Guardians of the Parks Summer Day Camp