Suggestions to Help Michigan Families Choose a Summer Camp for Kids


Early spring is the time of year when many Michigan families begin to explore the idea of sending a child to summer camp. Whether you are considering a day camp or a sleepover camp, there are many options from which you can choose.

Types of Summer Camps

Summer camps typically fall in to two broad categories: local camps and sleepover camps. Each of these types of camps offer a variety of themes and programs. Some camps are co-ed while others are boys only or girls only.

Each camp has its own unique personality. You will find some that are more traditional outdoor camps and others are specialty camps that focus on a child’s hobby or interest such as violin, soccer, writing, or art. Some camps promote competitiveness between campers and others are more relaxed.

If you need assistance locating a camp that you think would be a good fit for your child, the American Camp Association can help. They have a Camp Finder that will auto search a database of 2,400 camps across the country based on the criteria you feel are most important. You can search by location, price, affiliation, dates and more.

Is Your Child Ready for Sleepover Camp?

If you are having trouble deciding if your child is ready for a sleepover camp, here are a few factors to consider:

  • Has your child stayed away from home for more than one night before? How did they do being separated from you?
  • Are they outgoing, introverted or a homebody? If they are more of a homebody, do they have any friends that will be attending the camp you are considering?
  • Do they seem to be excited or reluctant about the idea of going away to camp?

If your child hasn’t been away from you before and none of their friends are planning to go to camp, it might be better to try a local day camp this year. If that goes well, they might be ready to spread their wings and try a sleepover camp next year!

The American Camp Association has an online Kids & Families Resource section that you might find helpful. It covers a wide variety of topics ranging from what to pack to how to manage homesickness.