Summer camps are a great way for kids to learn, grow, and have fun during their break, but finding the right summer camp can be tough as a parent. This is especially true when you’re searching for last-minute openings after the summer has already started, but don’t you worry – we have you covered!
Here are some great tips for selecting the perfect summer camp and for finding open spots now that summer has begun. BONUS: We’ve highlighted some of our favorite camps at the bottom to give you a head start.
Identify Your Child’s Interests and Goals
Whether it’s sports, arts, science, adventure, or a particular hobby, talk to your kid about it. Think about their personality, strengths, and areas they want to explore. Finding a camp that aligns with their interests (or pushes them out of their comfort zone) will make their experience more enjoyable and enriching.
Research and Evaluate Camp Options
You should research and evaluate various camp options once you know your child’s interests. San Diego Moms Summer Camp Guide is a great place to start! Our guide is broken down by category and location, with easy search functionality to make your search easier.
Take a look at their websites and read what other parents and campers have said about them. Camp duration, location, facilities, staff qualifications, and the mission and values of the camp should all be considered.
Involve Your Child in the Decision-making Process
Talk to them about their options, show them camp websites or brochures, and allow them to ask questions. Having your child participate in the decision-making process (depending on their age) also promotes independence, decision-making skills, and ownership.
Check Camp Websites and Social Media
Check out the websites and social media pages of camps you’re interested in. See if they have posted any announcements, updates, or availability information.
Contact Camps Directly to Get on the Waitlist (Email & Call)
You can reach out directly to the camps by phone or email. Find out if they have any availability during the remaining weeks of summer. There may be spots available at camps due to cancellations or smaller group sizes. Camps often offer waitlists even if their website says they are full. Things happen, plans change, and when one camper leaves, a spot is available!
Explore Workshops, Sports Intensives and Other Alternative Forms of Childcare Services
Local programs such as sports clinics, art workshops, or specialized classes might also have availability during the summer months. They often have more opportunity to add on new classes and times when one fills up. These camps are shorter in length or half day programs, but still provide the benefits of summer camp! One of the benefits of covid was the rise in alternative child-care programs and services that are more affordable and flexible.
June Care is great option for families, it combines childcare + playdates, by connecting you with fully-vetted, background-checked parents who can care for your kids, right in your neighborhood, in minutes.
Think Outside the Box
Sometimes thinking outside of the box, is as simple as researching outside of your immediate geographic area. Contact local community centers, schools, or other youth organizations in your area. They may have information on summer camps that still have openings. These organizations often have connections and partnerships with various camps, and they might be aware of any last-minute openings or alternative camp options.