Summer camp planning in December? Yes! It is not too early to start thinking about what your children will be doing in the summer of 2018. Camps start filling their spaces in earnest in January, but camp consultants are already hosting events this month to introduce parents to a variety of summer opportunities for children.

What kind of activities will your family be able to enjoy this summer? Will there be any opportunities to travel as a family? If there will be, best to plan these first. We at GCP are huge fans of family travel (don’t be afraid to start hitting the road early with the little ones!) and highly recommend carving out some time in summer if at all possible to take a family trip. (Stay tuned for a GCP post on family trip planning soon.)

On to camp planning. Threshold question: sleepaway? Depends on the age, interest level and maturity of your child. Check out previous GCP posts “Getting Ready for Summer Camps” and “Summer Camp Info” for helpful links on how to determine whether your child is ready.

If you are interested in sleepaway camps, be sure to take time to research and visit several of them. As noted earlier, camp consultants often host events in December and January where you can meet representatives from camps and get brochures. Check your children’s school bulletin boards and local family magazines to find out where they are being held in your neighborhood.

There are also lots of day camp opportunities for you and your children to explore. Day camps often run for shorter lengths of time (1-2 week sessions versus the general 6-8 weeks of sleepaway camp) so it is easier to fit them into a busier summer plan. Before diving in, take some time to focus on the kinds of things your children would like to do during the summer. Would they like to spend time exploring an already existing passion, or perhaps try something new? It is important to get them involved in and excited about the process of planning for their summer fun.

Whatever you and your family decide to do this summer, NOW is a good time to start planning for it. Come summer time, you all will be glad you did!