1. Proximity to home
The thought of spending all or a portion of the summer away from home startles some kids, while others embrace the idea of driving long distances—or even flying (both domestically and internationally)—to get to their summer paradise. From Saudi Arabia, the UK, and France to a 20 minute drive from Camp Road, Echo Hill has hosted campers from all over. There are many reasons why they chose that distance, but either way this creates a diverse camp culture that is attractive to parents from all over the world.
Many campers go to summer camps with friends from school as this might help facilitate the process of meeting new people. However, others are fond of the idea of not knowing anyone ahead of time. This helps reduce all expectations of how to act and allows campers to start their summer camp experience with a blank slate. There is no right or wrong answer. We have had campers from both of these perspectives and the only consistent outcome that we notice is that new friends are made either way. This is a personal choice and most summer camps should support both ideas, as we do. If you are nervous about sending a camper somewhere alone, then mention this to the summer camp. They should be more than happy to help your child make new friends. After all, that should be a priority for every summer camp!
3. Alumni Parents
Many summer camps, including Echo Hill, have been in business long enough to see multiple generations of campers pass through the campus. Some parents even met at summer camp! So it goes without saying that when searching for a summer camp, prior allegiances from an adult’s childhood could play a role in narrowing down the options. If not that, then at least look at summer camps with a strong alumni network, because someday your children’s children could be there!
You should also keep in mind the general theme of the summer camps you are looking at, how they are run, and what your child can gain from them. Some camps specialize in one area, like competitive sports camps or drama camps, while others are well rounded. Many folks chose Echo Hill due to its well rounded yet flexible program where campers can go with a focus in mind, but are not limited to that focus if a new activity sparks interest while attending.