By Kelly Bonner
Summer is just around the corner and your kids might already be asking, “What are we doing this summer?” This question may immediately put you into panic mode as you visualize the endless days stretched out before you. The summer woes of doing the same old thing every day or the worry of your children doing nothing more than sitting in front of a television for the next two months can be the reality for some parents who aren’t the creative type.
But before you stress out about how to entertain your children all summer long, consider the possibility of camp. Insert ramblings of all parents with your lists of excuses why your kid can’t go to camp, how your family can’t afford it, or how I just don’t understand your specific case. But first, take a deep breath…now let it out… and read on because there is probably an answer for each and every one of your doubts or questions. These days camps are available in all price ranges starting at FREE and the length of stay can range from overnight, to a week, to all summer long. They are also available for all ages and ability levels. You can find camps that mix everyone together or that are specific for your child’s disability. The choices are almost endless and there is bound to be a camp that is just right for you.
The thought of sending your children away to camp may scare you, but the benefits camp can have on your child should far outweigh any fears you might have. These possible benefits are numerous: gained independence, new skills learned, improved self- confidence, and increased social interaction with their peers, just to name a few. If you are considering sending your child with a disability off to camp for the first time, NCHPAD partnered with the National Center on Accessibility to publish a great booklet to help guide you. Discover Camp can help guide you through frequently asked questions, types of camps available, facilities, camp staff, camper care, programing, and what to know before you go. It is a great starting place for all you first timers out there. Here is a link to Discover Camp online http://www.ncpad.org/discover/index.html. You can also contact NCHPAD for a hard copy. This booklet provides information for parents who are looking for the right camp for their child.