Sports Fanatic? Finding the Perfect US Sports Camp for Your Active Child

*Collaborative post

A boy paddleboarding
Image from Pixabay

I’ve always believed in the power of sports to keep children active and teach invaluable lessons in teamwork and personal development. So, I’m considering looking into sports camps in the US for my soon-to-be teenagers. The process has been quite an eye-opener. I’ve found many options for different interests and skill levels. Let’s explore the options together.

Know Your Child’s Interests and Abilities

I’ve found that engaging in open conversations with my children about what activities they want to engage in makes them feel excited about the holiday. I intend to use the same strategy when finding them a summer camp to ensure they engage in activities they’re genuinely thrilled about.

I’ll even ask them to compare different camps with me as I’ve found many options already.

For instance, adventure and outdoor exploration camps caught my eye for promising thrilling activities like hiking, rock climbing, and various water sports. They seem ideal for fostering a love of the great outdoors and building confidence through physical challenges. Plus, my kids already love such activities and are always asking when we’re going to paddleboard.

Sports and athletics camps also stood out for specialised training in various sports, including swimming, basketball, and football. The thought of my children receiving coaching from experts in their favourite sports is incredibly appealing. I want to check recommended baseball camps for my preteen, but I’m also considering a camp with water sports, as he loves his paddleboard.

For my creatively inclined child, arts and creative expression camps offer a sanctuary for imagination with artistic pursuits, including painting, sculpture, music, theatre, and dance. It would be an even better experience if my child could have several of these activities in one summer.

If your child prefers academic and enrichment camps, I found quite a few focusing on subjects not typically explored in depth at school, like coding, robotics, and language arts.

And for those special interests, speciality camps provide a deep dive into hobbies and passions outside the mainstream, from cooking to photography and fashion design.

How I’ll Settle for the Most Suitable Camp

One of the most valuable steps we can take when choosing the right sports camp for our children is to attend open houses or trial sessions, if available.

For instance, you can ask questions directly and get immediate feedback. It’s a chance to discuss your child’s specific interests, needs, and any concerns you might have. You can learn about the camp’s philosophy, the qualifications of the coaching staff, and the activities offered.

Trial sessions offer an even deeper insight. Your child can experience a day in the life of the camp, participate in activities, and interact with potential campmates and coaches. It also allows your child to voice their feelings and opinions about the camp, ensuring their comfort and engagement with the program.

Moreover, you can observe if the gear is well-maintained, the facilities are safe and clean, and the camp environment is conducive to learning and fun.

Since I’m in the UK, I’ll do most of the research online and ask friends and family who may have taken their kids there about their experience. Then, I’ll shortlist some camps and consult them for more details. I’ll focus on the following:


It’ll be my first consideration so I can find a camp in a state that offers a safe, welcoming environment. It should align with the outdoor activities my children are keen on. For instance, a coastal state with reputable safety standards would be ideal if the summer camp focuses on water sports. I’m also mindful of the cultural and recreational opportunities the area might offer, enhancing their overall experience.


I’m still deciding between the appeal of short-term camps, which last a week or less, offering a taste of independence without overwhelming them, and the immersive experience of longer sessions.

These could span several weeks to an entire summer, fostering deeper skill development and stronger friendships. The decision will likely hinge on how comfortable we all feel about the time apart, balanced against the benefits of a more extended stay.


It’s unavoidable in its importance. The quality of the coaching and the overall experience must justify the financial investment of sending my kids overseas for a sports camp. The goal is to find a place that offers value without compromising on the quality or safety of my children. I also have to prepare financially months in advance. Hence, I’m setting a budget for travel expenses, camp fees, and any additional costs like equipment or excursions.

The Camping Experience

I plan to thoroughly research the sports camps, ensuring they boast state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. The coaching staff’s qualifications and experience will also factor into my decision. Their approach to coaching, their philosophy on youth sports, and their commitment to fostering a positive, inclusive environment will all play into my decision.

Lastly, health and safety protocols are non-negotiable, especially given the outdoor and sometimes contact nature of sports. I’ll look for a camp with clear, robust safety measures, from emergency preparedness to daily health checks, particularly in light of recent global health concerns.

Preparing My Child for Camp

I’ll focus on preparing my child mentally and physically for what lies ahead. Mentally preparing them involves setting realistic expectations about the camp.

I plan to sit down with them and discuss what they can anticipate during their time away, from the exciting activities to the new friendships they’ll forge. It’s wise to acknowledge any nerves or concerns your child might have and reassure them that it’s normal to feel this way when trying something new.

Physically preparing involves ensuring they are healthy and fit for the adventure. It could mean encouraging them to be more active in the weeks leading up to the camp by going on family walks or bike rides.

Encouraging a positive attitude is crucial. I intend to talk about the camp in a positive light, focusing on the fun and growth opportunities rather than what they’ll miss at home. I hope it’ll build their excitement.

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