The words “summer camp” used to conjure visions of canoes, campfires and kids singing choruses of “Kumbaya”. But that was then. Nowadays, girls’ camps offer dozens of programs that stir and encourage creativity in every area of interest to today’s young woman, from acting to painting to dancing and everything between.
In fact, there is scarcely a creative hobby or interest that isn’t nurtured by a summer camp. That little rock star standing in front of her mirror singing into her hairbrush can come home from one with a professionally produced music video. American’s next top model can learn to strut down a catwalk and strike fierce poses for the portfolio she’ll put together at another specialty camp. The next Meryl Streep may well be honing her craft at an acting camp, while her sister is practicing everything from hip-hop to ballet at dance camp.
These summer experiences may be either day retreats or sleep-away season-long sojourns. Those with long-term projects, such as a stage or movie production, will most likely be of the latter variety. Ages range from five- and six-year-olds to teenagers, and prices vary from a few dollars a day to several thousand for a full summer program. In either case, even if the creative arts are the primary focus, they all also include outdoor activities as part of the experience.
Deciding on a camp is a task parents should not take lightly, or unilaterally. Sending a child to the wrong one can be disastrous on many levels, not the least of which is a miserable experience for a girl who would rather ride horses than design jewelry. In other words, the choice should be one that satisfies everyone’s needs and desires, with all aspects taken into consideration. These include location, specialties, cost and, above all, quenching a girl’s thirst for fulfilling her creative bent.
There are literally thousands of summer experiences that cater to girls of all ages, tastes, talents and needs. Parents who want the best for their daughters will research the numerous sites that list and describe summer camps in detail, send for their brochures, take virtual or real-life tours and talk with owners or counselors before signing up. The most important talk, however, is the one parents should have with their girls, making sure to listen to their real desires. Remember, just because you want her to be a prima ballerina doesn’t mean she wouldn’t rather be a belly dancer. Or learn to paddle a canoe, build a bonfire and sing “Kumbaya.”
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Stephen Daniels is an SEO 2.0 researcher for a variety of industries. He highly recommends Belvoir Terrace to parents looking for a creative arts camp for their budding “rock star” girls. Belvoir Terrace has offered theater, art and music programs to girls grade 3 through 10 since 1954.