Get ready because it's time to take a leap into the future in regard to what your child will be doing this summer, and that means camp. Whether you have a younger child making his way to his first local day camp experience or your older kid will travel to a sleep-away camp, making those decisions is at hand.
Most camps open their registration process in February and March, and the greatest opportunity you have to help narrow your search is by attending Nashville Parent's 24th Annual Summer Camp Adventure Fair on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at CoolSprings Galleria. Read on to discover the benefits of being there.
5 REASONS TO ATTEND THE CAMP FAIR
1. SO MANY CAMPS ALL IN ONE LOCAL PLACE
Nearly 75 local and sleep-away camps will conveniently be in one spot, and there's nowhere else around where you will find access to so many camps at the same time. Within the camp fair's five-hour timeframe, you can seize the opportunity to speak directly with staff from all of the camps in attendance. All kinds of camps for all kinds of kids will be there eager to share with you a wealth of information about what they offer. Expect to discover a deeply diverse array of camps spanning the spectrum with unique themes and activities.
2. IT'S SO MUCH EASIER THAN ONLINE RESEARCH
While Internet research is a good place to start, and most camp websites do contain a lot of info, it's a huge commitment to register your child if that's the only resource you use — especially if your child is going to a sleep-away camp. The depth of information you get face to face with camp personnel is far greater than what you'll get online. The Summer Camp Adventure Fair gives you the chance to interview camp staff and get a real sense of their personalities and perspectives — that's vital given they will be the ones potentially taking care of your kids for a week or two. Be ready to fire away with all the questions you have for each camp you visit at the fair. The one-on-one, in-person dialogue allows you to narrow your research in a reliable way you can't accomplish online with the same amount of confidence.
3. KIDS CAN WEIGH IN AND HAVE FUN
Kids who attend the Summer Camp Adventure Fair get to see for themselves all the different options available to them. Just like you, they can also chat with camp staff and ask the kinds of questions that are important to them. Kids need to be a part of the discussion and decision, especially those old enough to embark on a sleep-away camp experience. Another advantage of bringing your soon-to-be camper: getting a feel for how camp staff interact with kids. That's an important piece of the equation. Take note of camp representatives who strike up an easy rapport with your child, and put those camps in your plus column. The interactive experience of the camp fair gives kids the golden opportunity to weigh in on the camp they are most interested in attending at the end of the day.
During the Summer Camp Adventure Fair, kids can also enjoy fun activities along the way. Some camps will bring interactive games and experiences for kids to try out, including Digital World Virtual Reality Camp and Topgolf.
4. YOUR TEENS CAN DISCOVER LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Many summer camps include teen leadership programs including working counselor-in-training options that give teens a camp experience while learning the ropes to become a camp counselor — some camps even offer registration discounts to program participants. In addition, other camps offer leadership programs in which teens spend time making a positive impact by going out in the community where the camp resides to give back by through service projects. In addition to acquiring valuable skills, involvement in leadership programs and community service endeavors are assets on your teen's forthcoming college application.
5. IT'S FREE AND THERE ARE FREEBIES!
Admission to the Summer Camp Adventure Fair is FREE! What better deal could there be than to gather so much priceless information to help your family without costing a penny!?
Many of the camps bring fun swag freebies to hand out, while others will have different kinds of prize drawings to sign up for. Select camps will have prize drawings for free one-week sessions this summer, so be sure to register and cross your fingers!