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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guest Post: What’s Hot In the World of Summer Camps

This guest post is from Signupforcamp.com. They're running a contest right now where you can win a free week of summer camp. Details at the bottom.

As a parent, you have likely been bombarded by options when it comes to choosing a summer camp. From the general camp fare to those programs that are specialized, there is a lot to think about when deciding where your child should spend those long days once school’s out. This year there are special camp features that are trending in communities all across the nation. These include special rate arrangements or activity focuses not normally seen in day camps.

In the past, most camps required an upfront payment for the entire summer. However, in today’s busy world camp directors are learning that not only is it difficult for parents to pay a large lump sum up front, but they are reticent to commit to a camp if this is the requirement. If you live in the Bay Area, fortunately there are several flexible camps that allow you to choose a payment option that best suits your family.

For a youngster with a love for outdoor sports, camps like Andy Harader Tennis Camp in Palo Alto offers a daily drop in rate of $70. You can also receive a discount by signing up for multiple weeks at once. Similarly, Kids Outdoor Club offers a 5-day punch card, which can also be used for school holidays, and Camp Doodles offers a daily drop-in rate. Another camp that offers payment options is Steve and Kate’s Camp in San Francisco. They issue both day passes and bundle deals so a family can attend camp on their own schedule.

For those who are able to attend camp all summer long, or are going for a more traditional block of one to five weeks, there are plenty of fun new options found throughout the Bay Area. Organic, healthy food options are big in camps right now – it’s a hot trend for organizations to provide something above and beyond microwaved tater tots to the children attending each day, so expect to see more greens and less grease.

Healthy eating leads to a better ability to learn, which is important since so many camps are educational nowadays. You’d be hard pressed to find a camp that doesn’t at least try to teach a child something – be it performing arts, a foreign language or a technical skill. The latter is especially true as technology camps are big winners right now. At the top of the popularity list for many? Lego Engineering.  Kids can also learn robotics and digital photography as well as many other skills as camps are committing to providing summer activities that will challenge them to think outside of the box.

Finally, there are plenty of camp giveaways to help pay for camp, which is a legitimate concern for many families. Many camps utilize their Facebook page to conduct free camp contests. This, along with other prizes, gives these specialized camps the registration boost they need at the beginning of every season. Other giveaways often include saving money with sibling rates or “bring a friend” program. In order to stay organized and gather information about all of these options is through online searches. One such website is SignUpForCamp (SUFC). SUFC helps parents find summer camps. There are currently over 1,000 camps in the SF Bay Area listed. SUFC also has an online calendar option, which allows you to share your camp schedule with friends and family so you can sign up and save time, money and stress.  

(Subscribe to the free Sign Up For Camp newsletter by April 30, and you'll be entered to win a free week of summer camp at Camp Galileo, Galileo Summer Quest, ESF Summer Camps, Monkey Business Camp or Girls on the Go camp. Details here).

See Frisco Kids' other posts about summer camp.


  1. Hi! I also have another great camp to add to this list. I'm working with Tina T, a big DJ who currently spins at one of the hottest clubs in Las Vegas and is also the founder of Camp Spin Off. Camp Spin Off is her passion project and is the first of its kind: a sleepaway camp in the Sierras where kids can learn about music, art, and culture...and get out in the fresh air to hike around, too. ;) It was just featured in French Vogue, but is super affordable and a one-of-a-kind experience. I hope you'll check it out (and let me know what you think/if you have any questions!). It's also a hop, skip and a jump from the Bay Area. www.campspinoff.com

    Forest Home Ojai Valley
    655 Burnham Road
    Oak View, CA 93022
    Topatopa Mountains
    July 29th to August 2nd, 2012

  2. I'm probably too late for most of you, but some camps give a free week away through SignUpForCamp.com. It's a great website, regardless, since it allows you to search for camps by kids ages, distance, type of camp, etc, but if you sign up by the end of today for their parent newsletter, you qualify to win a free week of camp at camps like Camp Galileo and Monkey Business, plus some more. Again, www.signupforcamp.com. Check it out. SO helpful for planning summer camp schedules!