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When is the right time to look into summer camp?
Summer camp is an enduring childhood tradition that can provide some fun and adventure for youngsters during their summer break from school.

Summer camp provides children weeks of entertainment, camaraderie and opportunities to learn and grow. It also offers a welcome respite for parents and other caregivers from having to provide recreation for kids during summer vacation, especially if those kids will be attending a sleepaway camp.

Many children are emotionally ready to attend camp between the ages of eight and 10. Some need a little more time to mature.

According to, a division of the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is important to start researching summer camps as soon as possible. Start by asking for recommendations from others. The difficulty with this approach is that many people are very protective of their camp choices, especially if the programs are particularly popular. They may not be inclined to give up the secrets to their good thing, especially if that means kids will have to compete for limited spots. Parents also should conduct an internet search of camps in the area and look at online reviews and ratings.

Find out if the camp is accredited by the American Camp Association. This will not guarantee a risk-free environment, but ACA accreditation is a better bet for providing a camp that is safe and nurturing.

Price also may be a factor in the camp decision. Camps are not all priced the same, so it may require doing some math to figure out what is the best value. Location also can be a consideration. Having to drive a long distance away for camp can be a deterrent to some people.