Camp fairs show off 120 spots to send the kids this summer

Attending a summer camp can be a wonderful way for children to learn new skills, meet new friends and gain a level of maturity and independence. But where does a parent start in the hunt to find the perfect fit for their child?

For 20 years, the Super Summers for Kids: Camp and Activity Fairs have helped parents out of just such a conundrum. The two free fairs — offering the same information, just on two different days at different locations — put parents in touch with representatives from 120 day and overnight camps from around the country and Canada. The fairs are not only for parents sending their children to camp for the first time, but also are great for parents looking for a new experience for their camp veteran.

Today’s fair will be held at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, and on Sunday, at West Bloomfield High School in West Bloomfield Township. Both are held from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

“Nothing is sold. The fairs are just a community service for people to come and learn,” says event founder and organizer Elaine Sturman. “This gives parents time to ask questions and talk to other parents that have had their children in some of the camps represented. Parents are going to be blown away to see the diversity of camps offered.”

There are camps headed by various religious denominations, camps on science, arts, sports and travel. And some cater to children with special needs. Parents can find a camp for children from the age of 2 1/2 to recent high school graduates.

Due to the rough economic climate, camps are seeing a dip in attendance and many are adjusting their rates and offering scholarships, says Sturman. But enrolling children in some kind of camp is worth the financial sacrifice, she says, pointing out that for some parents, camp is a necessity.

“Many parents are working and they still need to have quality, good things for their children to do while they are at work,” says Sturman.

Sturman stresses it is never too early for parents to start looking into a camp for their child.

“Camps fill up,” she says. “If you want your choice, now is the time.”

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