The Benefits of Preparing for Summer Camp — In the Fall
Are You Ready for the Summer?
For many parents, sending kids to summer camp can often involve a last-minute scramble. And if you’re among those who breathe a deep sigh of relief when it’s back-to-school time, the idea of being ready for next summer might seem like a big ask. But a little planning ahead — starting in the previous fall, before or at the beginning of your child’s new school year — can provide numerous benefits for you and your child alike. In fact, there are particular advantages to preparing for summer camp in the fall as opposed to any other season. Here’s why you should get a head start on your summer plans for camp this autumn.
Get Organized Before the School Year Gets Hectic
By the time spring rolls around, your calendar will likely be packed with school events, extracurricular activities, and family commitments. Yet in early fall, before and just after your child starts school, there’s often a brief period of relative calm before school open houses, parent-teacher conferences, field trips, and seasonal activities get underway. You can capitalize on this lull by doing research on various local camps, signing up for fall camp tours, and completing preliminary enrollment paperwork.
Getting all of this out of the way early will not only make your future transition to summer a lot easier, but also save you the disappointment of finding out that enrollment in your preferred camp is already full.
Take Advantage of Fall Camp Tours
When summer is nearly or already underway, your choice of camps is likely to be based on hastily consulted virtual tours, brochures, and website information. Although these are definitely helpful, they only offer limited insights, and they can’t capture a summer camp’s atmosphere the way an in-person campus visit can.
The best way to really kick the tires of a camp is by taking a tour — which many camps tend to offer in the fall. With fewer ongoing activities, camp administrators have more time to walk you through the facilities, answer your questions, and connect you with resources. A first-hand look provides you invaluable insights into the camp environment, including safety measures, the quality of amenities, and the types of programs offered.
Cash in on Early Enrollment Discounts
Enrolling your child in a summer camp early often lets you harvest the financial benefits of an early bird discount. Many camps offer significant reductions in fees for parents who commit before a certain date. These savings can add up, especially if you have more than one child who will be attending camp next summer. Don’t forget to ask if your preferred camp offers a sibling discount or installment payment options, which can make budgeting for camp even more manageable. Need more help? Some camps also offer tuition assistance if you qualify.
Boost Your Child’s Excitement
Kids love having something to look forward to. Particularly if your child has already been to summer camp and loved it, or just loves summer in general — and all the more if they’re not keen on returning to school — planning their next summer’s session can provide a positive focus during the long winter months. You can ramp up their enthusiasm and reduce back-to-school blues by doing the following:
- Discussing the upcoming experience and the new things they’ll get to try (or the old things they’ll be better at) next summer
- Shopping for camp gear, especially as a treat after shopping for school clothes and supplies
- Encouraging them to keep in touch with their camp friends if they attended summer camp last year, or talking up the opportunity to make new ones outside the pressures of school
- Planning a fall family camping trip to keep your child feeling connected with the fun and adventure of immersing themselves in nature
Get Ready for Summer With Surprise Lake Camp
Surprise Lake Camp is a nonprofit organization that provides a home away from home for generations of young people. We believe in the value of community and friendship. Our Jewish values and identity shape our connection to nature. We’re dedicated to helping young people unplug, grow, and develop values, confidence, and skills to last a lifetime, adding to SLC’s storied history as the nation’s longest-running Jewish sleepaway camp.
Take the next step: explore our new camper experiences and come for a fall camp tour on October 15th! We offer early bird and sibling discounts (which can be combined for maximum savings) as well as first-time camper grants and sibling tuition assistance to qualifying families. Early enrollment ends October 31st, so contact us today!