NORWICH — Though temperatures are still chilly and summer is still around the corner, the Norwich Family YMCA reminds parents that it is never too early (or too late) to start looking for fun activities for kids to do this summer, including camp. As the pioneer of “sleepaway” camp, YMCAs have been serving communities for more than 150 years and the Norwich Family YMCA Camp Thompson facility in Smyrna is a wonderful choice for parents who are looking for a safe and fun place to send their kids this summer.
“Children are our greatest treasures and greatest responsibility,” said Tom Revoir, YMCA Senior Program Director. “YMCA camps help kids have fun, grow positively, meet healthy role models and learn good values. We not only provide memories that last a lifetime, but we also assure parents that their kids are in good hands.”
According to the American Camp Association, more than 11 million children and adults attend camp each year. Activities include swimming, exciting trips and overnights, horseback riding, archery, sailing, canoeing, tennis, arts and crafts, fishing, street hockey, rock climbing, soccer, basketball, volleyball, family evenings and theme days. But determining when children are ready to go to camp and finding the best match can be difficult for parents.
“Good camps fulfill a parent’s No. 1 concern – safety – while supplying experiences and lessons in character and friendship that parents can’t provide on their own,” states YMCA Executive, Jamey Mullen. “Good camps also provide a positive and inclusive atmosphere in which to grow that satisfies a child’s need to belong.”
Norwich YMCA Camp Thompson offers the following helpful tips to help parents choose the best camping experience for their child:
Know your options. When looking for a camp, parents should start with the American Camp Association (ACA), which accredits camps across the country to ensure they meet the highest standards. YMCA camps are accredited by the ACA. There are also a variety of camps: Resident, Day, Sports, Church, Scouts, Performance, Adventure and many more.
Know your budget. Remember, camp does not have to be expensive. Camps are available for every price range, and some YMCA camps offer scholarship assistance.
Know your wants. Families should consider what they want for their child from the camp experience, e.g. a fun vacation from school, a chance to build new skills, or is the camp being utilized as childcare. YMCA camps vary, with some highly structured and others offering kids greater flexibility in setting schedules...