How to Choose a Camp for Tweens

Dealing with middle schoolers is tough on so many levels. They’re technically able to stay at home alone during the summer. But what will they be doing? Choosing a day camp for your tween is not about day care. It’s about enrichment and skills development. For a well-rounded summer, there are several key areas to cover.

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Spotlight: Project PLANTS

This camp for rising 7th and 8th graders is guaranteed to develop some green thumbs. Students explore a variety of agriculture and horticulture themes, go on field trips, and do experiments and hands-on projects.

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Spotlight: Terrific Scientific

My own biggest take-away as a parent was that my child was learning a lot and loved talking about it. Rather than the usual response of “Nothing”, he answered “What did you do today?” with plenty of details about all the cool activities they did. Kids are excited to go back the next day because they’re excited to learn. They experienced the joy of learning, got to talk about why things worked or failed, and explored the How and Why of things. I credit the camp for preventing the “summer brain drain.” My son was always on grade level in reading, but now he is two grades ahead. He didn’t get out of the habit of learning during summer vacation.

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Will Science Camp Get You in to Harvard?

Like I really need one more thing to feel guilty about. But as I was going through all the listings for great science and technology camps, I couldn’t help but wonder – are my kids at a disadvantage because they’re not doing robotics or space camp this summer?  Will they still get into Chapel Hill if they go to American Girl camp instead?

Most of us in the good ol’ days had stay-at-home moms, and we spent the summer playing outside, watching TV, and going to the pool.  Despite the research and articles that promote free play as an essential part of brain development, it’s hard not to feel like you should be providing a multitude of enrichment activities for your kids to help them get ahead.

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