Choosing a summer sports camp can be a big decision. School’s out, the weather’s warm–you want to make sure your children are in a safe, but fun, environment. Whether you’re hoping they have time to work on their sports skills, their social skills, or you just want to make sure they’re enjoying their summer to the best of their ability, there is a summer camp out there for you and your family.
We’d like to think that we have a great option for you at Koa, between our award-winning Multisport camp, our sport specific baseball and field hockey camps, and our fun-filled partner camps. But we’re not here to sell you on our camps. We’re here to help you through the (at times, tough,) process of finding the right one.
One of the first things you should look for is what type of accreditation the camp has. All camps with American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation’s have similar safety procedures. Each accredited camp must provide background checks on employees, have fire & health regulations, and keep detailed records of campers’ emergency contact information. Each organization will have a different way of organizing and archiving these records–but they need to exist.
At the end of the day, the most important questions to ask before choosing a summer camp are: Where is my child going to be safe? Where are they going to have the most fun? Where will they make new friends AND learn new skills? Fun, friends, and skills are basic terms; let’s break it down into specifics to help understand your decision.
– Fun; the staff should be dedicated to providing THE BEST summer experience for the campers. What does this look like? Coaches who are bought in will lightly participate with the kids in drills, theme days, bring the energy every morning at drop off, and still have a smile on their face at pick up. A smile that should, hopefully, be on your camper’s face as well!
– Friendship; nobody likes playing alone. Your child should be spending summer days with old friends and making new ones! Sports offer different social situations, and the ability for kids to connect through non-verbal movement and eye contact. A great way to make new friends is on the field, court, or diamond. A Multisport camp will allow kids of similar ability to connect through different activities.
– New Skills; coaches who want to get the most out of athletes do best by actively demonstrating rather than telling. The best coaches pick drills that provide instant feedback and how to improve right away, for example dribbling a soccer ball in and out of cones. If you hit the cone, it’s obvious you need to improve on foot skills, and continue to practice. Another way to improve skills is communicating to the parents during pick up on how their child performed that day at camp.
We all want our campers to have the best summer possible. By focusing on these three criteria when selecting a camp, your search should be a bit easier! If you need more information, feel free to reach out to Billy@KoaSports.org and I’m happy to chat about Multisport or sport specific camp options.