Westchester Family January 14, 2016 Summer Camp: A Variety of Summer Options Blog | OUR STORY | The Play Group Theatre | Westchester’s Theater for Children and Teens
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January 14, 2016 by Jean Scheff

Summer Camp: A Variety of Options

Summer Camp

Keeping your child engaged and growing during the summer months often means enrolling them in a summer camp. What options are available? More than you can imagine.

Summer camps are generally either day camps or sleep away camps. Day camps allow the camper to attend during the day hours and return home each evening. Sleep away camps are camps that provide room and board for the duration of the program. There are some hybrid camps that offer sleep away options from Monday through Friday and transport children home for the weekend. The length of a day camp or sleep away camp program can vary anywhere from one week to eight weeks.

Within each category there are even more options. Day camps and sleep away camps can offer traditional all-around camp experiences where the camper participates in a wide variety of activities or a specialized camp where the child focuses on a particular interest. Some popular interests include theater, art, sports, computers, education, fashion, music and dance. There are also travel abroad programs and educational programs that all provide summer experiences for interested students.

Each type of camp offers many benefits...


Steve Abusch, executive director of The Play Group Theatre that operates PGT Summer Theatre, a specialty camp in White Plains says, "A specialty camp can offer children and teens the opportunity to immerse themselves in a comprehensive experience." As is the case with many specialty camps, Abusch says camps such as PGT Summer Theatre offers students an enhanced exposure (in his case, the performing arts) that offers richer and more diverse opportunities than students can find time for during their busy school year.

He also notes that sharing the summer with other students interested in the same discipline is a positive experience. "Because an important and natural outcome of having a collective immersive experience with other like-minded kids is the development of strong bonds of friendship, students not only challenge themselves to achieve individual new heights, they also become a part of a true creative community," he says. "The communal experience is as important – or more so – than the individual experience."

A specialty sleep away camp can enhance this sense of community and provide other benefits. "While traditional sleep away camps offer a mix of activities (sports, outdoors, arts, etc.), camps that are arts-based can help creative kids and teens meet like-minded campers and staff, while still experiencing fun evening activities, camp fires and all that sleep away camps have to offer," says Rick Mades camp director of Maine Arts Camp, a specialty arts camp in Maine. "For such creative campers, this type of community is hard to find, so when they’re making friends like themselves, they can feel like they’ve finally found their summer home!"...

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