How To Find The Best Summer Camps Near You?

As the summer months approach, quite a few parents frantically look for a way to keep their children engaged and entertained outside of school. Among the options, summer camps usually stand out as they provide a wide range of activities that help children learn and grow. In the case that you also want to sign your children up for summer camps but don’t know where to start, our article can show you the way. Down below is everything that parents must keep in mind once it comes to identifying fitting summer camps in the local area.



In the digital age, the internet serves as a valuable tool for researching and locating nearby summer camps.

Numerous specialized websites list summer camps by location, program type, and age group. For instance,, ActivityHero and American Camp Association’s Find a Camp tool allow users to search for camps based on specific criteria such as location, cost, duration, activities, etc. These online platforms also provide detailed information about each camp like schedules, amenities, reviews, and so on. Thus, it is easy for parents to compare options and find the ones that fit their children.


In case you don’t know, community centers can help you find information about summer camps in the local area. Many community organizations host summer camp fairs as well as informational sessions where parents can learn about different camps. Additionally, community bulletin boards, newsletters, and social media groups may feature advertisements about upcoming summer camps. By taking advantage of community resources, parents can stay in the loop about available camps in addition to registration deadlines.

Word Of Mouth

All in all, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family members, and neighbors can prove useful when you search for summer camps. Reach out to other parents in your social circle to inquire about their experiences and hear their thoughts on particular summer camps. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations based on factors such as camp quality, staff qualifications, safety measures and satisfaction. Personal referrals contain valuable insights and will help you make informed decisions so listen all the way till the end.

Directories And Publications

Many local publications, such as newspapers, magazines, and parenting guides, tend to publish annual directories featuring summer camp listings. These directories typically consist of comprehensive listings of summer camps in the area, organized by program type, age range, and location. In addition to that, regional parenting websites and blogs may post articles that highlight recommended summer camps as well as their insights into camp experiences. By using directories and publications as references, you can accumulate a wealth of information about summer camps in the vicinity before making up your mind.

A Good Summer Camp: Criteria


To put it plainly, activities in summer camps can cater to the interests and preferences of different campers. Such activities may include outdoor adventures such as hiking, swimming, kayaking, … as well as creative arts and crafts, sports, performing arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) plus team-building exercises. Camps may also feature special events, themed days and field trips to nearby attractions as well as landmarks. Parents should review the camp’s activity schedule and determine whether it’s suitable for their children.


The quality of camp staff is a critical factor in ensuring a positive and safe camp experience for campers. Qualified and experienced staff members (camp counselors, instructors, and support staff) play a vital role in leading activities. Camps should conduct background checks and offer training for staff members in essential areas such as child safety, first aid, CPR, etc. Finally, camp staff must be attentive, approachable, and capable of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for campers of all abilities.

Facilities And Amenities

For your information, the quality of camp facilities and amenities can significantly impact the camp experience for campers. Depending on the type of camp, facilities may include cabins/dormitories for overnight camps, dining halls/cafeterias, outdoor recreational areas, sports fields/courts, swimming pools/waterfront access, arts and crafts studios, science labs and indoor activity spaces. Parents should inquire about the condition and cleanliness of camp facilities, as well as the availability of amenities such as restroom facilities, showers, laundry facilities, medical services, …

Camper Experience And Social Dynamics

Summer camp provides an opportunity for campers to build new friendships, develop social skills, and gain independence in a supportive environment. Campers will get to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds, learn to collaborate and communicate, navigate social dynamics within their cabin groups/activity teams, etc. Parents should encourage their child to approach the camp experience with an open mind, be inclusive and respectful of others and embrace the opportunity for personal growth.

Safety And Well-Being

Ensuring the safety and well-being of campers is a top priority for summer camps and parents should be thorough while inspecting measures set in place to protect their children. Camps should have clear safety protocols and procedures in place, including emergency evacuation plans, medical protocols. Staff training must cover safety and first aid in addition to policies regarding camper supervision, behavior management, communication, … Parents should review these policies and see if they feel comfortable with them.

Tips And Tricks

  • Set Your Expectations: Before selecting a summer camp, clarify your goals and expectations. Determine what you want your child to gain from the experience, whether it’s fostering new friendships, exploring academic interests, or simply having fun. By aligning your expectations with your child’s interests and preferences, you’ll be better equipped to choose a camp that meets their needs.
  • Select the Right Genre: Explore different types of summer camps to find the one that best suits your child’s interests and goals. Whether it’s a traditional outdoor camp, an academic program, an arts-focused camp, or a specialized adventure camp, consider what type of activities will resonate most with your child. Look for programs that offer a balance of educational enrichment, skill-building, and recreational fun.
  • Decide on Virtual, Day, or Overnight Camps: Consider factors such as your child’s age, comfort level, and schedule when choosing between virtual, day, or overnight camps. Virtual camps provide flexibility and convenience, while day camps offer socialization and skill-building opportunities closer to home. Overnight camps provide a taste of independence and adventure in a supervised setting, ideal for older children seeking a more immersive experience.
  • Consider Camp Setting, Tone, and Vibe: Pay attention to the atmosphere and culture of each camp, as it can greatly impact your child’s experience. Look for camps with unique traditions, engaging activities, and a supportive community that aligns with your child’s interests and personality. Consider factors such as location, facilities, and the overall vibe of the camp to ensure a positive and memorable experience.
  • Find Instructors Your Kids Will Adore: The quality of camp instructors can significantly influence your child’s experience, so prioritize finding passionate, knowledgeable, and engaging instructors. Look for camps that provide information about their instructors’ qualifications and backgrounds, as well as low student-to-instructor ratios to ensure personalized attention. Additionally, prioritize safety by choosing camps that conduct background checks on all staff members.

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