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 2019. Camps start filling their spaces in January, and camp consultants are already hosting events this month to introduce parents to a variety of summer opportunities for children. Tips on Trips and Camps, a consulting company that offers advice on summer camps and teen programs, hosts camp fairs beginning this month in New York, and also have fairs in Connecticut and Los Angeles. Check their website for details.

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, it is best to plan these trips before focusing on what your children will be doing on their own. We at GCP are huge fans of family travel and highly recommend carving out some time in summer if at all possible to take a family trip. Don’t be afraid to start hitting the road early with the little ones!

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 even visit several of them. As noted earlier, you can meet representatives from camps at fairs, and all camps would love to send you their brochures. Check your children’s school bulletin boards and local family magazines to find out where fairs 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 to finding a day camp program, 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!

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This GCP post originally ran in December 2017 and has been updated where necessary.