Is it better to choose a summer camp that is focused on one activity, like soccer, or lots of different activities for a 7-year-old child?

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Barbara Spalding, Parent Resource & Coach for Education

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At age seven, there are so many areas of development and personality interests to be explored, that I would lean toward a summer camp that offered a variety of activities. Of course, this depends greatly on the child and the length of the program. Perhaps a short, concentrated camp would be more appreciated than if the experience were longer in duration. It also depends on what your intentions are as well. If summer camp is viewed as an opportunity to try new things, it would be a shame to select a focused camp and learn that he/she didn't enjoy the primary activity (and this also comes back to the duration of the program). And on the flip side, if he or she is expecting more of an activity of interest but takes up a summer camp with a large variety... he or she may be disappointed in not having enough ____ time. I experienced this with my son and swimming, assuming his outdoor camp experience would provide hours of pool and lake time, when in fact it was divided between other outdoor experiences and he would have been happier in a "swim camp" instead.

Jennifer Oleniczak, Founder and Artistic Director of The Engaging Educator

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How is the student?

As someone who ran, directed and currently runs a LOT of summer camps, it depends on the child. Most camps for students of that age offer different activity segments, even with a focus. For example, I taught and directed a camp geared towards science, and while the majority of the day had a science component, we had time for the kids to be KIDS - run outside, make art, make friends, do 'camp' things.

I really think it completely depends on the student - and your goals - the general summer camps have A LOT going on, so for a student who wants a lot of stimulation and different activities, this might be great! But if they JUST want to do one thing, or have a hard time "just going with it" it might be a good idea to have a focused camp, where the 'other' stuff is only present a small amount of the time.

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