When choosing a summer camp, the very first thing to consider is location. Is it in a safe part of town? Is it convenient to home and/ or work? You may find a long list of options open to you if you choose camps that are close to work instead of just those that are close to home. Especially in larger areas like Savannah, Macon, Atlanta, Augusta and others, if you live and work in different parts of town, you may find a better fit for your family as well as expand the range of possibilities and options.

This is where it gets serious at our house. What can we really afford to spend on summer camps? Decide. Then stick to it. Most of Georgia’s students are in public school, so the cost of childcare during the summer is an expense that is not part of the normal operating budget during the rest of the year.

In households where both parents are not working, it may turn out that the best option is theme weeks at home. For example, there are limitless options for weeks with themes around art, water, movement, music, literacy, science, and so much more. The folks over at Super Why! have a great Super Why! Summer Reading Camp program that you can do. You may find that you can afford a season pass to a museum for the family as well as supplies for loads of fun with family and friends instead of paying for camps.

Is food covered in the cost of admission or will you need to pack a lunch? Packing lunch would be an extra cost – both time and money – and may be the deciding factor between two camps. What types of food are they serving? Is it healthy, balanced, and appropriate for your child? As the mother of an allergy-riddled kid, this ranks pretty high on my checklist.

Value includes the money spent compared to time used as well as the fun factor. Are you willing to pay more per week for a 4 day week or 5 half days if it is something that you know your kids would just love?

GPB’s Chrissy Warrilow is way into science. So, a summer writing camp at half the price of her dream of Science Camp would not be a good value for Chrissy. But, if writing camp is what fits the other parameters, then she might just learn to love writing about science… which she does now as a grown up.

Tell us where your kids are going to camp this summer!