January 2018 Archives

5 Ways to Save on Summer Camp: "Camperships" & Discounts

If you're worried about whether you'll be able to afford to send your kids to camp this summer, we've got some solutions for you! Luckily, there are people out there who are passionate about summer camp and have come up with resources to help families send their kids to camp.

One thing to remember: act quickly and act early because discounts, "camperships" and deals can be limited on a first-come, first-served basis!

campcayuga.jpg1. The first place to check for camperships or discounts is with the camp director. Contact the director of your desired camp, and ask them if the camp provides options for families who need some support. According to the American Camp Association, nearly 90% of camps offer some type of campership. It's also good to keep in mind that camp directors are often happy to lend help or suggest outside sponsors who give special camperships to their specific camp.

2. Seek out service organizations in your community such as your local Rotary International Club. There are thousands of local service organizations that host camps, or sponsor children to go to camp. Our marketing coordinator at MySummerCamps.com received a full campership in high school through her local Rotary Club.

rotary.jpg3. Early bird discounts! Many camps offer an early bird discount to those who register for camp early.

4. Check discount sites such as Groupon, Livingsocial, and Camperships.com. As a means to get more local customers, camps and classes are posting deals on discount sites.

 camperships.jpg5. Sign-up for MySummerCamps newsletter. Each month, we send out a newsletter which includes exclusive deals from camps. E-mail us at [email protected] to subscribe!

campdeals.jpgSo let's get started! A little bit of research early on can give you peace of mind when summer time comes around, and will also give your child a great opportunity.

Keeping in Touch with Friends from Camp

by Amanda Formaro

Summer camp was fun, but it's time to head back to school, get back to regular routines, and for kids to enjoy your camp memories until next year. Your kids made some great friends and they swore not to lose touch. So how can you teach them to keep those friendships strong for a whole year before they see them again?

In this day and age of digital communication, it's easy to stay in touch with friends if you are a teenager. Most teens have a cell phone, Facebook account and email address. Surely they've exchanged phone numbers, so texting during down time, provided your plan allows for it, is a great way to stay in touch with distant friends. Remind your teens that texting during class or while driving is a definite no-no and to stay within plan minutes/messages.

Facebook and other social media outlets are very popular means for staying in touch for friends and family all over the country and the world. The beauty of communicating via electronic means is that you can carry on a conversation bits and pieces at a time, when it's convenient for you! Be sure you're following proper safety guidelines with your kids when using these social media outlets, such as keeping their profiles private, only befriending people they actually know in real life, and not participating in open chat rooms.

Social media is great for your teenager, but what about the younger set; those not old enough for such technology? This is a great time to teach kids about communication skills, letter writing and creating handmade postcards.

For a child, there's something fun and magical about receiving an actual piece of mail addressed to them. The mailbox is usually reserved just for the adults in the household. So to receive a piece of personal mail is surely treat, like opening a birthday present! Be sure to keep some fun kid friendly stationary handy so that when a letter arrives, your child can sit down and write a reply immediately, while the excitement is still fresh. Help them address the envelope, decorate it with stickers, and add a stamp. You can certainly pop the letter into your mailbox and put the flag up, but for some added fun, take them to the post office to "officially" mail their letter!

Did you know that the post office accepts homemade postcards, not just the kind you buy at stores and gift shops? It's true! As long as you stay within their size guidelines, you are limited only to your imagination. Your postcards should be a minimum of 3.5" x 5", and a maximum size of 4.5" x 6" to stay within legal postal service guidelines. Use card stock as it provides a sturdy surface for your postcard. Decorate one side with stickers, markers, or even use foam stamps and paint. On the other side, draw a vertical line down the center of the card. Have your child write their message on the left, then put the return address and mailing address on the right side. Be sure to leave room in the upper right hand corner for the postage stamp! You can get detailed instructions for making postcards here.

Depending on your child's age and your telephone plan, setting up a phone call once a month or so is a nice way for the kids to catch up. A lot has happened since camp, so surely there will be plenty to talk about! Whether it's their new teachers, the new friends they made in school, or a birthday that has passed, sometimes just good old-fashioned phone call is a great way to stay in touch.

While some kids aren't quite ready for cell phones and Facebook, there is a fun way to video chat online called Skype. You will need a computer that is equipped with a webcam in order to video chat, but Skype does operate like a speakerphone as well and video is not a requirement. Skype is a free download and does not charge you for using its service. This is a great alternative to the telephone if you don't have unlimited long distance.

No matter how your kids stay in touch, it's important to try and hold on to those friendships that were created over the summer. Summer camp creates not only lasting memories, but lasting relationships as well.