A long summer break has been a fixture of the schedule in most private schools seemingly forever. Three months or more offers plenty of time for a wide range of activities for every age group. Here are some of the options available.
Many private schools rent out their facilities to outside organizations which run sports camps. The last time I checked, there seemed to me to be a camp available for almost any sport you could imagine. And they were offered at various age levels too.
Tech summer sessions
Ages ago we called these computer camps. Nowadays they are called tech camps. They will teach your daughter robotics, code, game development, design and much more. IDTech and Emagination Tech camps are just two of the commercial companies offering tech courses on college campuses here in the United States and abroad.
This video offers a peak at an IDTech summer tech camp.
Your local community college probably has tech camps too. Wake Tech in my area has fifteen tech camp options including such popular offerings as drones, video game design and more. Our sister site, Community College Review has a powerful search tool which will help you find a community college near you.
Day and overnight camps for children with special needs
Your child attends a school for children with special needs. What will you do with him for three months while his school is closed? Not too worry. There are summer camps catering to children with special needs. The American Camp Association has a search engine which allows you to filter its database for the camps you are looking for. I search for camps for children with autism. It produced 16 camps for me to choose from. The list of special needs listed is exhaustive.
After the last day of school, you will see the signs for summer session and day camp popping up around campus. Typically these sessions operate under the aegis of the school, even to the point of hiring school faculty to work with and supervise the children. My long experience with summer day camps run by schools tells me that while the concept of providing activities and supervision for young people is consistent, the quality and standard of activities varies greatly from one school to the next. Take time to do your due diligence. Ask lots of questions. Ask to see a daily schedule. Find out what the contingency plans are for inclement weather. Inquire about the communications protocols in case you need to get in touch with your child and vice-versa. Confirm the procedures for medical emergencies. I may be sounding like a fussy old father here, but the last thing you need is to have something happen to your child while you are at the cinema watching the Met Opera in HD with your phone off.
Now, imagine for a minute that you have just moved to town in May or June. You need a summer camp for your children. Start your search on Private School Review which has lists of private schools with summer programs in various states. Here are the listings for New York State.
How To Find A Summer Program contains helpful advice as well.
Academic remediation sessions
Many schools run academic remediation sessions in the month following the end of the school year. These kinds of summer sessions have one of two purposes: the first is to give students some extra time and instruction in a subject which they find difficult. The second purpose is to offer enrichment in a subject area. Language classes, coding, music, and so on are subjects which often find their way into summer session curricula. We enrolled our girls in keyboarding classes back in the days before computers. As a result, being able to type 90 words per minute turned out to be a very useful skill in college. If your child is not in a private school, don't let that hold you back. If the school has space, they will be happy to include your child.
Summer sessions for prospective students
Boarding schools frequently offer overnight camps which they operate for their own students as well as for young people not attending the school. I think that this kind of summer session is the perfect relaxed opportunity for your son or daughter to spend a week or two away from home at a boarding school. Next thing you know she will be asking if she can go to that wonderful school she spent two amazing weeks at. Check out the summer programs mounted by Garrison Forest School. They are typical of the sort of programs many boarding schools offer.
This video describes the summer programs offered at McCallie School.
Traditional sleep-away camps
I only ever went to boy scout camp. And that was usually for a weekend. I remember being quite envious of my friends who went off to sleep-away camp for a month. Use the American Camp Association database to develop a list of camps which suit your needs. Then do your due diligence very carefully.
Teen summers at home and abroad
National Geographic Student Expeditions offers trips worldwide. Their North American expeditions sound very appealing and cover a wide range of subjects and interests. While traveling outside the United States is appealing in so many ways, it comes with its own set of potential obstacles and pitfalls in these unsettled times in which we live. Choose your travel professionals carefully and ask lots and lots of questions before committing your child to overseas travel without you at her side.
This video describes a National Geographic Expedition at Yellowstone National Park.
Summer in Spain is another example of the kind of programs available. 5 Amazing Destinations to Find Teen Summer Camps Abroad offers study options abroad. There are dozens of outfits like these. A Google search with the keywords "teen summer programs abroad" will produce plenty of results for you to review.
Finally, if you are fortunate enough to have a cottage at the lake or a ranch in Montana, your summer program is in place. All you have to do is to enrich it with swimming, sailing, riding, and other lessons to provide a truly memorable summer.
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