CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Summer is almost here and that means it is time to start thinking about summer camps.
Cheryl Perry and Jen Plym are parenting experts, social media executives and bloggers for charlottesmartypants.com.
The women are busy updating their sites 2013 summer camp guide. NBC Charlotte reporter Ann Sheridan sat down with them to get tips on how to choose a camp for your child.
"Obviously fun is the most important thing. When you're first sending kids to camp you want them to be comfortable so look at pre-school, church or school and then ease them into a day camp or overnight camp,” says Plym.
The women point to a number of popular camps, including the YMCA camps, Mecklenburg County Parks and Rec Camps and Catawba County’s Camp Cannon.
Camp Cannon offers shuttle service and an overnight option, they say. Plus, the camp offers activities that are exciting to most middle school and high school students.
“They have an extensive zip line,” says Plym.
Their website boasts more than “one hundred camp offerings, and something for everyone!”
The women say Vacation Bible Schools are a great affordable option, and the perfect choice for toddlers who have never been to camp and need to acclimate to the idea of summer camp.
“VBS is definitely the deal of the century,” said Plym. “Most churches have vacation bible schools and they’re usually only $50 per child.”
The women say many VBS camps also cap the total cost per family to around one-hundred dollars.
Perry says it’s also important to think about possible pitfalls. Even this savvy camp mom experienced a problem she hadn’t anticipated.
“I have a son who is terrified of thunderstorms, and one summer I signed him up for an outside day camp in August. And there are thunderstorms every day in August. It was bad! I had to pick him up early every day,” she remembers.
The women say parents should also think outside the box and look out for supervised neighborhood camps run by teenagers.
“Usually the kids love it because they’re with neighborhood friends and kids idolize teenagers. Plus it’s the cheapest thing around,” says Perry.
If you’d like to learn more, click the link below and go to the Summer Camp Guide on the site’s header: Charlottesmartypants.com.