Tip of the Week
While selecting the right camp can be a daunting task for parents, Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company, which welcomes more than 65,000 kids to its camps across the country, has some key suggestions to ensure a positive summer for everyone. "Safety, fun, health and variety are priorities for us, and we've learned what it takes to create the best camp experience for kids and their parents," says Jennifer Veres, national senior program manager for kids activities.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you look at camps:
* Safety. Ask questions in advance to ensure the camp has standard operating procedures in place to keep your kids safe. Are parents required to show their membership card or driver's license to both check in and take their children home? Every employee should also have a state-approved background check and those working with kids should be CPR- and first aid-certified.
* Activities. Find a camp that excites kids, provides a routine and has a variety of healthy activities for kids to engage in. This is critical for parents who don't want their kids wasting away summer days playing video games for hours on end. Good information to learn includes what the balance is between a set daily routine and the type, level and variety of activities the camp has designed to keep kids interested.
* Counselors. It's important to have counselors who will keep kids engaged in healthy, active fun, and are committed to building relationships with kids throughout the summer and not just looking for a summer job. They should have previous experience with kids and/or experience in childhood education or other kid-focused programs.
* What will they eat? With the rise in childhood obesity and food allergies along with the overall importance of real food in daily diets, consider the food and snacks provided at camp. Find out if the daily menu includes healthy options free of artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners, as well as being free of trans fats and bleached flour. For those children with food allergies, parents will want to ensure the camp has guidelines for their child.
* Does the schedule work? While kids may have all the time in the world during the summer, most parents still have set schedules. Ensure that the camp times from start to finish work for everyone.
Family Movie Night
“Bears” Rated: G Length: 1:17 Synopsis: A documentary about a family of Alaskan bears. Violence/scary rating: 2 Sexual-content rating: 1.5 Profanity rating: 1 Drugs/alcohol rating: 1 Family Time rating: 2. A great film for the entire family to enjoy.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure,” by Doreen Cronin (author), Kevin Cornell (illustrator) Ages: 7-10 Pages: 112
Synopsis: Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime. So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they’re about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes (“Big” is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that’s out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals. But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it’s a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets? It’s up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world. - Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Did You Know
According to Yahoo, a Canadian couple decided to let people on the Internet name their baby, and the end result for the girl born April 7: Amelia Savannah Joy McLaughlin. The father set up the website NameMyDaughter.com, and Amelia Savannah Joy came in second place. The actual first-place winner was Cthulhu All-Spark, which the family decided not to use.
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Family Time: Picking the right camp for your kids
Tip of the Week