Parent’s Guide: Essentials for Finding the Best Summer Camp

Parent’s Guide: Essentials for Finding the Best Summer Camp
This guest article was written by Sheryl Linsky Adam, VP of National Program Operations at Camp Galileo

Ask any parent what their children are doing this summer and you’re likely to get a similar response: “It’s so hard!” Deciding on summer camps for your children is challenging because there are a lot of options and because every parent wants to fill their summers with content that is engaging for their children, often delivering experiences that are different from their school years.

As the VP of National Program Operations at Camp Galileo, I blend my experience as a seasoned educator and mother of two to oversee the operations and launch of our summer programs. At Camp Galileo, I ultimately oversee the talented teams that deliver our content and experiences at camp. Together, we strive to instill a lifelong love for learning in the hearts of young minds, one creative endeavor at a time. My role is to make sure we are delivering engaging content that kids love and that families appreciate because of how it supports social and academic development.

Engaging and Fun

When looking for the right camp, variety in the program is the first thing you should look for. You want to look for a camp that offers a variety of activities to keep campers interested and involved throughout the week. From creative arts and outdoor exploration to sports and team challenges, you want to see that each day presents new opportunities for learning and enjoyment. Kids of all ages appreciate structure and variety; summer days will go by quickly if campers are engaged in different activities both during the day and throughout the week. At Galileo, we do this with three different program rotations each day, one that focuses on individual visions and building innovative projects, one that focuses on collaborative creation, and one that is outdoor games and activities. On top of that, each week there are skits, songs, water day, and other joyful traditions that kids love.

Ensuring that a summer camp offers customized activities tailored to each age group is also crucial for your child’s development and engagement. A well-structured camp recognizes the diverse needs and abilities of campers of different ages and adjusts its activities accordingly. By providing age-appropriate challenges and learning opportunities, children are not only engaged but also stimulated to grow and develop new skills. Moreover, when campers are with other campers of their age group during the day, they are more likely to build community and easily make friends. Finally, staff can be trained to support the unique needs of each age group. Before enrolling your child in a camp, it’s essential to inquire about the specific activities planned for their age group to ensure they will have the opportunity to learn and thrive in a supportive and enriching environment.

Health and Safety

For most parents, their child’s safety is always top of mind. All summer camps have compliance requirements they must meet (for example, CPR and first-aid certification for staff on-site), but well-prepared sites have extensive training and documentation to ensure campers are safe and mitigate risk. By selecting a program with robust health and safety measures in place, you can rest assured that your child’s summer camp experience prioritizes their welfare while still providing a fun and enriching environment for growth and exploration.

Keeping campers safe starts with keeping campers engaged at all times. At Galileo, we do this by having a staff-to-camper ratio of 12:1, training our staff on individualized attention, and engaging campers during every moment at camp. Whether during the walk to lunch or while we’re waiting to start an activity, staff are trained to engage with campers at all times actively, and campers come home chanting the cheers they learned at camp!


Camp Staff

Look for camps where staff members possess qualifications and experience in working with children, ideally with backgrounds in education, child development, or related fields. Additionally, inquire about the staff’s retention rate, as a high level of continuity not only signifies their experience but also reflects their dedication to the camp’s curriculum and values. By selecting a camp with experienced and committed staff, you can trust that your child will receive the care and guidance needed for a rewarding and fulfilling summer camp experience.


Camp Galileo has a well-rounded curriculum that is perfect for all children. Leading with STEAM and innovation, campers participate in hands-on activities, outdoor play, and more. Ultimately, camp is an opportunity to lean into your child’s interests and to also expand their horizons, and help them identify new interests. Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone not only fosters personal development but also creates lasting memories and enriching experiences.

If you want to prevent the looming ‘summer slide,’ (a summer academic regression), find camps that have educational components that are still fun and engaging. At Galileo, STEM concepts are learned through experiential learning, sneaking “secret learning” into joyful, memorable projects and activities.


You want to secure your preferred summer camp spot with early planning, with many camps opening registration early and filling up fast. Starting research in advance ensures your child’s place and you the best price. Early enrollment reduces last-minute stress, securing preferred dates and programs. 

Many factors contribute to crafting the ideal summer experience. It’s always good to gather your kids’ feedback and their preferences so that you can narrow down the choices quickly as you learn about programs. Then think through the memories you’d like to create each summer and how each program you’re considering adds to that vision. Work week by week taking into consideration trips and other family activities. Soon enough, you’ll find you have finalized your family’s and kids’ summer plans!


About Sheryl Linsky Adam

Sheryl Camp GalileoSheryl Linsky Adam has been the VP of National Program Operations at Galileo for 2 years. In her role, she oversees the operational execution for 62 sites nationwide. She is an operations executive with a passion for providing exceptional and equitable learning experiences to kids and adults. Sheryl has spent her career scaling and improving services and products in the education and technology sectors in the nonprofit and private sector, including recruitment, training, and professional development for educators. Sheryl has a BA in Sociology from Connecticut College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.



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