THE CHANGING FACE OF SUMMER CAMP: IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SWIMMING AND ARTS & CRAFTS ANYMORE
Léman Manhattan’s Director of Camp Offers Insights on Program Trends and
Tips for Finding the Right Summer Camp for Your Child
When it comes to choosing a summer camp in New York City, parents will find they have as many options available as they do in their search for a private school. Steve Levin, Director of Camp Léman, the summer offshoot of Léman Manhattan, a globally-minded, independent school located in the Financial District, has been guiding parents through the summer camp labyrinth for 20 years.
“Flexibility and specialization are the prevailing camp trends right now,” says Levin. “There is a growing need by parents of younger children for flexible enrollment, as well as shorter sessions that was previously the norm for tweens and teens.” He notes that parents are also looking for diversity in their kids’ summer camp experience, rather than having them attend one camp for the entire summer. They also want their kids to have fun and enjoy themselves after a rigorous academic year. Additionally, says Levin, “All-around camps are losing ground; parents now look for more specialized programs, such as cooking, writing, science or sailing-specific programs.”
Another trend Levin notes is the movement to include academics in summer programs. “Many parents – and students too, for that matter – are looking for quasi-academic and straight-academic enrichment camps,” he said. “But at Camp Léman, we embrace the traditional attributes of camp — mainly having fun and creating memories – and place an emphasis on participation, effort, and risk-taking rather than on competition and winning.”
Among Steve’s tips for parents looking at summer camps:
- “Word of mouth” is the tried-and-true method. Consult with neighbors, friends, or parents of your child’s classmates.
- Do your research: Be leery of “pop-up” camps or those that do not have a solid reputation.
- Look for camps run by an academic institution, community center, or organization with which you are familiar.
- Consider the following important factors before making a decision: your child’s passions and activity level; camper-to-staff ratio; age of counselors (college-age vs. high schoolers); size of the program, in addition to price and location.
- Day camp vs. sleep-away: Sleep-away camp can be an incredible growing experience for both parents and children, but some children may not be ready for the separation. If your child asks about sleep away camp, chances are he/she is ready to make the jump. If there is doubt, there are “trial” sleep-away sessions that range from 1-3 weeks and may prove a good starting point.
About the author:
Léman Manhattan – an International Baccalaureate World School, Diploma Programme — is member of the prestigious Meritas International Family of Schools and offers the highest-caliber academics to grow the next generation of courageous, critical thinkers. Located in the Financial District, Léman Manhattan’s state-of-the-art campuses house a truly unique learning community, where an exceptional faculty inspires students in grades pre-K through 12 to view the world as their classroom. Léman Manhattan’s rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum stresses critical thinking, personalized learning that addresses each student’s strengths as well as areas for improvement, and prepares young minds for the global 21st Century. Léman Manhattan’s international boarding program – the only one of its kind in Manhattan – illustrates the school’s rich and diverse culture.