Tips on Trips and Camps Announces What's New In Camps For 2015

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Learn about the current trends in summer overnight camps & programs for kids ages 12 & under. Tips on Trips and Camps can help you find the camp that fits your child’s interests.

Tips On Trips And Camps

Tips On Trips And Camps

If kids are not interested in traditional camps, because of an aversion to the outdoors or to bugs, there are a multitude of specialty camp offerings.

There are more opportunities than ever for kids ages 12 & under to participate in all types of different summer programs. Eve Eifler, co-owner of Tips on Trips and Camps, says, “Traditional camps are still the prevailing choice for parents. Even within that framework, however, specialty instruction can be found.” A parent might want designated time and instruction in tennis or football, for instance, if their child is going back to a fall sport tryout.

Co-owner Carey Rivers adds, “If kids are not interested in traditional camps, because of an aversion to the outdoors or to bugs, there are a multitude of specialty camp offerings.” Housed on boarding school or college campuses, opportunities exist in forensics, filmmaking, culinary arts, emergency medicine, creative writing, or a wide array of the arts.

Food allergies used to be a major hurdle in the decision for some parents to send their children to camp. Canadian camps were way ahead of the curve on dealing with food allergies, but now camps in the Northeast especially are catching on and making accommodations for kids with all types of allergies. Eifler says, “While directors have always taken seriously the charge they have in caring for others’ children, this new layer of responsibility is being met in all sorts of new and formal ways. I visited one camp that has professional chefs trained in cross-contamination and registered dietitians on staff to prepare menus. This camp is peanut, tree nut, shellfish and sesame free and can accommodate campers with dairy, nut, wheat, soy, egg and fish allergies.”

Camps used to be fairly consistent with their communication policies, allowing only letter writing between camper and home and having a no electronics policy. Rivers said, “Many camps now allow emails between camper and parent so that campers can have more immediate contact with their parents. And, many camps have photographers taking pictures of the campers and posting daily to the camp website.”

It turns out that some directors are even loosening the ban on cell phones. If a parent is more comfortable with a camp where a kid has limited use of their cell phone, then there are plenty of options out there. I visited a camp last summer that takes cell phones away for the first week in order for the kids to bond and then allows limited use thereafter, but only at certain times of the day. Rivers continues, ”But, for those parents who still believe in no screen time at camp and snail mail only, there are still many traditional camps that have remained true to the back to basics formula.”

Some parents are reluctant to allow a child to go the whole summer without academics, commonly known as the “summer brain drain.” To answer this call, there exist many options for summer school enrichment, from the remedial for the struggling student to higher order learning for those kids who want to remain fully engaged over the summer. Eifler shares, “We have seen an uptick in summer programs for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). At one camp, campers can work alongside architects, videographers, builders, engineers, and designers on collaborative projects that serve as the centerpiece of their camp session. One group of campers built the water polo goals for camp and another group built an entire underwater city.”

Since some kids begin overnight camp at the age of 7, they may be looking for a change in atmosphere by the age of 11 or 12. Other kids skip the traditional camp experience altogether, but may be interested in some sort of focused travel. Rivers says, “Teen trip organizations have accommodated this growing trend by offering marine biology, community service, and biking trips (to name a few) for 11 & 12 year olds. Some provide a base camp model whereby the camper can spend 50% of their time in camp and 50% on out on trips.”

Eifler concludes, “There is a summer program out there for any type of child. If your child has never gone to camp and is looking for something out-of-the-box or if your child has gone to camp for years and they are looking for a change, do not fear. There is a camp out there for everyone!”

Tips on Trips and Camps, Inc. is a free service specializing in overnight summer experiences for children ages 7-19. Call 866.222.TIPS or visit our website at . Once you register, a local advisor will follow up with you immediately. Rivers adds, “You know your child and we know the camps. Together, we can find the right match.”

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Carey Rivers
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