Summer camps are fun and campers love the activities and the relationships that are built there. During some vacations, depending on the program or your budget, a summer camp may not be an option. Do not worry. With good planning and coordination, you can have a similar experience from home!
Part 1 of 2: Organize the camp
Step 1. Talk to parents and children who might be interested
Before you can start a summer camp in your home, you must first assess the interest of parents and other children in your neighborhood. Taking into account the age and number of campers expected, you should have at least one adult to supervise the camp each day.
There should be an adult to supervise each group of 10 participants aged 6 to 8
Step 2. Choose the participants appropriately
You certainly don't want someone to feel out of the way, but if all participants are relatively the same age, they'll have more fun throughout the camp. It is also advisable that all participants know each other in advance from school, whether they are friends of the family or others.
Step 3. Decide on the length of the camp
Once you have already assessed the interest of this organization, you can use this information to decide on the length of your camp. Suppose there are nine children who want to attend and five parents are willing to each host the camp for a day. You can easily decide that the camp will be held over five days, with a parent overseeing the activities during each day.
Step 4. Choose a theme
If all of the campers have all been watching the same new superhero movie that just came out, or are all friends with a similar focus, consider picking a theme for the camp. It can give you ideas for activities, decorations, art projects and many other aspects related to the camp.
Step 5. Find a location
Just because there are parents who are willing to supervise the camp for a few days, doesn't mean they would want to cede their house to you for the occasion. Find out if each parent would like to create activities around their home or if they liked taking the kids on excursions on their assigned day.
You can also take advantage of this time to collect the ideas of all the parents in order to make a list of activities that can be carried out during the camp
Step 6. Choose the activities
By already having a theme in mind and a few great locations, you can start to envision some great activities for participants. Try to think creatively to incorporate your theme into the camp. Also, be sure to choose activities specific to the age of the campers.
- For a sports camp, consider minor league sports events in your area, the availability of basketball, baseball or softball courts, training to exercise participants' skills, sports quizzes, museums. local sports halls, sports halls of fame, etc.
- For a camp theme featuring one superhero or another, consider decorating the area so it fits the theme (or have participants make decorations with crafts) or have a movie screening. Also think of a treasure hunt theme like "Clues the Sphinx could have left for Batman" or "Clues to find treasures hidden in the ground", if you had opted for a pirate theme. Consider drawing superhero portraits, playing games in which participants will be formed into teams of villains and heroes, playing board games or Lego constructions related to the theme, etc.
- For an art camp, consider letting students sculpt with clay, design their own t-shirts using stencils or markers. Also consider introducing them to a specific artist or style or taking them to an art museum.
- If you want to organize a camp with younger campers, consider easier games and recreation projects, coloring activities, less structured competitions, as well as the availability of more space to run.
Step 7. Establish a schedule
Once you have a list of campers, parents to welcome, and the list of activities, you are on your way to finalizing the camp program. Take a look at the list of ideas you have received from other campers and parents and add a wide variety to it. If you've been running summer camps for a while, take a vote to find out what will interest campers the most.
Step 8. Stock up
With your program ready to go, you'll know exactly what you'll need for camp. Don't forget food for all participants, as well as decorative items that will fit in well with the theme.
- A party supply store is the perfect place to find less expensive decorative items that might suit your theme.
- If you've opted to have each camper come with their own belongings like sleeping bags or enough money for lunch, be sure to get this list out to all parents as soon as possible. The sooner they get it, the better.
- Make sure you always keep a first aid kit, including general provisions as a precaution.
Step 9. Proceed to set up the camp
You can build a fort or pitch a tent, in addition to having your decoration done. You can do this ahead of time, but building a fort can be fun too. Thus, you will only have to wait for the arrival of the campers.
Part 2 of 2: Having fun once the campers arrive
Step 1. Keep an attendance sheet with you
Especially if your camp will be longer than one day, all campers may not arrive on the same day. Make sure you have an accurate list of everyone who shows up at camp each day. This way, the parent responsible for looking after the children will have an idea of the exact number of children to be accommodated, what to plan for food, etc.
Step 2. Carry the parents' contacts with you
In addition to knowing who will be at camp each day, the person in charge should also have a list of people to contact in an emergency, as well as a list of serious allergies or children's dietary restrictions.
Step 3. Plan plenty of snacks and water
Campers will be very hungry and thirsty. Make sure to keep plenty of snacks and water, especially if any of the activities will be taking place away from home, such as a nature walk.
Step 4. Have some games on hand
There will certainly be a lot of breaks between activities, while you are on the way, while waiting for a meal, etc. Pack cards, board games, coloring books and other toys that will keep campers entertained while the day manager organizes the transition between competitions.
Step 5. Forget the program when the opportunity arises
One of the most interesting things about the camps is the spontaneity of some of the activities. Don't be afraid of not being able to stick to the schedule in favor of possible leisure activities. Let campers be creative and improvise a few of their own activities at a specific time.
Step 6. Establish traditions
This is all of what sets a lot of summer camps apart. Each day (or every day), ask campers to come up with a slogan, song, mascot, and any other custom they would like to uphold. All of this will make the experience even more interesting.
On the first day of camp, you could ask participants to make a sign on a poster or other surface
Step 7. Remind campers of everything they need
If your camp is going to last several days, make sure that each participant comes home at night with a reminder of what they need for the next day.
You should also try to provide a general reminder list for campers and this may contain sunscreen, swimsuit, towels, baseball gloves or any other tool that would be useful depending on the theme chosen for the camp
Step 8. Have fun
Above all, keep an eye out for campers. Try to keep everyone involved in the different activities, engaged and most of all have fun. If that involves changing your plan at the last minute just for fun, go for it. Ultimately, the summer camp was organized for the campers. Ask them for their opinion and don't be afraid to try new things!
- Experts recommend that an adult be present to monitor each group of 10 children aged 6 to 8.
- Ensure that each participant has a list of emergency contacts and have a first aid kit handy at all times.
- Inform parents of any significant changes to the schedule of camp activities. Some parents might be frustrated knowing that their children are in one place when they were expected to be going somewhere.
- Carry a log of all the people you invited and who attended. Also add other information about the children, including their allergies, favorite foods, whether or not they are vegetarians, and their medications if they take any.