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Summer Programs—Luxury Or Necessity? Tips On Making Summer Count

Some outdoor adventure programs for children offer rock-climbing, whitewater rafting and hiking.

Posted: Friday, January 26, 2018 – 12:16 PM

By Jill Levin

With three months of summer vacation ahead, do you envision your child lying on the couch in front of the TV all summer long? Do you have thoughts of your teen plugged into social media for three straight months? Or worse? This is a recurring issue for all parents of school-aged children.

Perhaps we should rethink summer. Instead of viewing it as endless hours for which parents must plan and coordinate activities, view it as part of your child’s education plan. Summer programs offer your child an opportunity for learning new skills, preparing for independence and developing passions that may lead to future careers or life-long hobbies.

Help is readily available to families picking a sleep-away camp or other program that matches their child’s interests and needs. A handful of companies exist that provide free consulting and advisory services to any family that knows to call them. The service is without charge, and families incur no obligation of any kind when they request guidance or information. These advisors are often an unknown parental resource spread by word-of-mouth among families already “in the know.”

Summer program advisory services like the one I work for (Tips on Trips and Camps) have years of experience addressing families’ questions and concerns. Advisors ask families the questions necessary to make sure the “fit” is right between the program and the child and provide families with lists of programs to consider that match and questions to ask directors.

Tips on Trips and Camps offers the following suggestions to make summer sleep-away camps and teen programs part of your child’s education plan:

• If your child is an athlete, then consider a sports specialty program to build those skills, a traveling sports trip or a program in sports management or broadcasting.

• If your child loves the outdoors and has outgrown camp, then consider an outdoor adventure program that offers rock-climbing, whitewater rafting and hiking.

• If your child loves the water, then consider a sailing expedition, a marine biology program or working with dolphins or sea turtles.

• If your child is inquisitive about other regions of the world, then consider a language immersion or cultural exploration program.

• If your child has an interest in the performing arts, then consider a focused program in acting, set design, dance, music or filmmaking.

• If your child wants to make a difference during their summer, consider a wide range of community service or leadership programs here or abroad.

Summer camp and teen programs are wonderful opportunities for your child to have new experiences not found in a classroom. No matter what your budget or your interest, there is a summer camp or program to meet your family’s financial and educational needs. Make summer count.

An overnight Camp and Teen Program’s Fair is held once a year so that parents and their children can learn about many overnight options and meet their directors. This year’s fair is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Jill, your local Tips on Trips and Camps advisor, will be there to help guide parents to programs that may be a good fit for their child.

For more information, visit:

If you can’t attend, give Jill a call at 310-202-8448. She will be happy to help you over the phone or through email. Jill emphasizes that her services are provided without charge. Parents have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

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