Hello, and welcome to summer!
We just celebrated memorial day, which I hope, for you, was wonderful, with barbeques, beaches and bonfires.
For me, it was the band, burgers and a baby pool, but lovely nonetheless.
But, now that Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone
is time to really kick it into camp-planning-mode.
Earlier this month, I wrote all about what summer camp meant (means) for me. I am a lifelong camper/counselor/cheerleader for Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs. To me, JKCP offers something for everyone.
What is that you say? You don’t know where to start in choosing the summer camp that is best for you?
Oh. Here. Let me help you.
On the simplest level the JKCP Home Page allows you to filter programs by:
Age: 7-9, 10-13, 14-18
Interest: Academics, Arts, Business, Cooking, Internships, Languages, Sciences and Sports & Fitness
With so much to offer, choosing the right camp can seem overwhelming, even for the most seasoned of campers. I recommend that in making your decision, you reference this awesome JK_Summer Program Comparison Guide. It allows you to see, right before your eyes, what will work best for you.
The JKCP website is so universally helpful, as it gives parents and kids the “Cliff Notes” of sorts as far as
2. Plan for the possibility of extending
3. Send in your forms
4. Book your travel
5. Get comfortable with your communcation
With these things secured, you (parents) and you (children) can start looking forward to the things that make camp camp: Dorm living, evening activities, cool classes, travel, honing your talents and, above all else, making new friends.
One of my favorite resources provided by the JKCP team is the Dos and Don’ts of Summer Camp Parenting.
I can relate to this on a very personal level, as I was that kid, who before I found my summer home would be filled with anxiety, causing my parents great distress.
As it says in the article above, “…” and I am sure that my parents can relate to that sentiment completely, as they dreaded the July 4th holiday each and every year, as, inevitably, they would receive a teary call from me or my sister, begging to “pleeeeaaasssseee come home”.
And why did that happen?
Because we had not yet found the perfect fit.
Once I started with JKCP I only shed tears when the summer ended, starting my countdown to the next year.
I think that this list is not only universally helpful, but SO spot on:
DO – Give your child pictures of home to hang on their walls – home is important and it is important for them to have reminders of their amazing families back home.
DON’T – Call, text and email them every day. It is also important that they focus on being fuilly present at their program. Too much contact with home can take away from that.
DO - Give them real, actionable goals to set for themselves in the summer. It helps them put each day into focus while they are gone.
DON’T – Tell them that you will come pick them up if they are unhappy. Knowing that can prevent students from overcoming very important challenges that they will certainly encounter while they are away.
DO - Give them money. They will need it.
DON’T - Give them a limitless budget. Budgeting is a very useful lesson that can be taught while you aren’t even there.
DO - Wonder how your kids are doing. It is a natural thing for a parent to do.
DON’T - Worry. As a provider of summer programs for kids, we know how important they are to you. We treat every child as if they are our own. In other words, know that if you have made it all the way through the process and actually sent your kids away for the summer, you have made that decision because you trust the program that you have chosen.
DO - Follow your child’s program on social media
DON’T - Read too deeply into the pictures that you see. Programs like ours try to catch all of the highlights throughout the summer on film. We share tons of photos and we hope that you find them insightful. When you see a picture of your child surface on the internet and they aren’t smiling, don’t assume the worst. Have you ever tried to keep a smile on your face for 24 hours? It is not natural – keep in mind that a photo is a snapshot of one moment in a very long camp day! Odds are that, if they are attending our program, they smiled just before and just after that moment.
You may have noticed that I highlighted one of the Don’ts, one that I think is absolutely salient. Don’t tell your kids that you will come and pick them up if they are unhappy. This mentality will not set them up for success.
I can remember pleading with my own father, as I got ready to go to my first overnight camp in rural PA.
“But dad, if I am really, really, really homesick will you please come pick me up then?”
And he said no. And he didn’t. And I am a better person for it.
I mentioned this before, but I now live a whole .3 miles away from my mom and dad. I’m such a grown up.
I believe that the Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs are top notch, and, as I wrote so many years ago,
“A place for glee”,
but no matter where you and your child choose to go to camp, the JKCP Blog is brimming with helpful advice for all, including information on how to make new friends at camp, how to create relationships around the world and coaching your children through life.
Here are the top 10 reasons why to choose JKCP from the camp’s perspective and years of experience, but I can boil it down to just one:
It is a place where happiness and growth abound.
What more do you want for your child than that?
It was at the old JKCP Performing Arts Camp, that I attended as a pre-teen, where learned a skill that I have taken with me through the rest of my life: I found confidence in myself and learned how to get up in front of a room, with a few or a few thousand people, and feel as though I was capable.
“You spoke with such poise.”
I learned that poise at JKCP.
If you have questions about any of the JKCP Programs, or about camp in general,
CLICK RIGHT HERE to be in touch with Program Director, Mike Boyle (who happens to be the nicest guy in the world. Don’t worry—there’s a big tie between all of the senior staff members at JKCP. I don’t want any hurt feelings over there).
Remember, by clicking on the link above and registering with the code “EVERAFTER” you will receive $50 off of your tuition.
And do you know what you can do with that $50?
You can use it to take your crew out for a family dinner, as your child completes his or her last day of camp, so that you can hear about all of the fun he or she had during the summer at camp.
You can hear about new friends, maybe listen to your child speak in a different language, laugh along at inside jokes and pretend that they are funny and watch your child, beaming with pride, for accomplishing something that perhaps he or she did not know was possible.
Summer is here. Time to get your camp on.
This post was written in partnership with Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs. As always, my opinions are 100% honest and my own.