Miami: Summer Camp Trends 2018
Day and overnight camps have to stay up with the times. Camps are also concerned about children today and their development. Whether building 21st-century skills or the grit and resilience necessary to succeed in college and future jobs, camps are now partnering with families and schools to prepare children for life. Here in Miami, where the first summer camp launched more than 90 years ago, day and overnight camps are thriving. They’re constantly evolving to meet the needs and interests of campers.
Like most parents, you want your kids’ summer experience to be the right one. Summer camp is a financial and emotional investment in your child’s development and a memory which will last a lifetime. That is why we have, for the past seven years, been researching and recommending the best options in Miami. We will soon be sharing our TOP 10 and most recommended camp programs in 2018. In the meantime, we would love to share with you some trends that we see coming.
While there's no one tendency in the kinds of camp experiences parents are seeking — some are looking for enrichment; others want their kids to experience the simple fun they had in childhood — there are some common trends:
In general, there has been a trend toward shorter session lengths in both day camps and overnight camps. Most camps in Miami now offer one week to two week options.
Wide variety of specialty camps are available and also specialty camps within traditional camp programs. Legendary school- based camps such as Gulliver, Miami Country Day Camp and Carrollton now offer traditional day camp, a variety of specialty camps for in-depth exploration, fun and competitive sports camps as well as academic options. More recently, a couple of adult offerings have been popping at some of the schools as well as the cool wework summer camp abroad.
No surprise, Spanish- only Camps are a big thing in Miami – Camp Guaikinima, Camp La Llanada and newcomer Keybees Camp in Key Biscayne are some that cater to the young bilingual Miamian first camper with fun, comprehensive and innovative programs.
Camps are providing more of a concierge service such as providing transportation to and from camp, pre-care and aftercare programs, and accommodating many food needs (not just food allergies). Most all camps researched provide early and after care for an additional fee. Transportation is sometimes provided, such as the case of Alexander Montessori’s camp and others. A local Key Biscayne camp provides convenient lunch menu options through Golden Hog Market -a local gourmet catering.
STEM and STEAM are trending: Great offering of Coding, robotics, Minecraft and Design camps. Specialty camps on robotics, 3 D printing and more are part of the offering at Carrollton, Gulliver, and other institutions such as Frost. Some recent developments are camps organized by creative learning centers such as Moonlighter Makerspace, ID Tech Camps, Learn01.IO, and Zaniac to name a few.
Emphasis on community service. Beach-cleaning, and volunteering are just some of the activities included at a few camp options. Recently I met Willy Orozco, Science Teacher in charge of Gulliver’s Engineering camps. Last year as part of one of their 3D printing camps, his group created a prosthetic hand for a little boy in Bolivia. What an amazing way to learn and spend summer, helping someone in need.
Reputation and Security are still major criteria for parents when choosing a program. Most schools and camp organizers are on it, to them security is key as well. Camps do their background checks, hire Florida State Certified Educators as well as certified swimming instructors. Make sure to ask those questions when looking for a camp for your kids.
A la carte camping – more than ever parents are choosing to craft a unique summer camp experience by choosing from a variety of options. Summer is a time to explore, if you are not sure your little one is into tennis, why not sign him or her to try it out for a week or two to later explore at a swimming camp or music program?
Stay tuned as we announce our TOP 10 and Most Recommended Programs!