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How to choose the best summer camps for your kids

Sensei Pennewaert at Newport Beach Aikido talks about Bullying

Summer is all about camps. But, which summer camp is best for your kids? Not all camps are equal. While it may be tempting to enroll your child into a full week or full day camp to keep them busy, there are a number of important factors to consider when choosing a quality summer camp for your kids. 

With over 30+ years experience, Gentil Pennewaert Shihan teaches his Samurai the importance of awareness and response.

First, make sure there is plenty of adult supervision at all times. Anything can happen anytime which means kids can get into trouble quickly without adequate adult guidance. When scouting for a camp, make sure to ask how what is the adult to child ratio. Ideally, you want at least one adult to every 6 school-aged children.  The extra hands will help groups stay in control and ensure accidents from occurring.

Photography by Irvine Photo Boutique

Secondly, certified trainers are recommended. Take the time to check out the organizations’ certifications to be sure that the sports or physical trainers are CPR certified or have the adequate training to instruct your child.  Even volunteer coaches should be certified in the specific activity. You want to make sure that your child is learning the right skills from qualified instructors. Take a few minutes to do an online search of the trainer’s profile to verify that all the information is accurate. During the summer, camps can get hectic and organizations will just hire volunteers to help them bring in the numbers of campers. 

Especially for sports or high activity camps, be sure to ask about their safety or emergency protocol. All camps should ask for a emergency contact and have your child’s medical insurance information handy.

Next, look for camps that will offer your child healthy snack or lunch options. If your child is allergic to any foods or ingredients, be sure to let the camp leader know and verify the meals being served. Healthy organic snacks as apples, fresh juices, grilled chicken, and salad are great options to keep your child active and healthy. It is not necessary to fill them up with foods high in sugar like chips, cookies or pizza.

Also, it is important to look for camps that have been in existence for years. Check out the reviews before you enroll your child. Most reputable organizations will share their reviews on social channels. You want to make sure that your child is attending an established institution or organization. 

Every summer, Newport Beach Aikikai offers Samurai Summer Camp during the months of July and August. Children ages 6-12 are taught the traditional skills of aikido with hand and weapons training from Monday thru Thursday, Gentil Pennewaert Shihan along with Charn Pennewaert Shidoin are highly trained aikido instructors are dedicated to providing the campers with quality training and supervision. Healthy organic meals are made fresh each day in the dojo kitchen. Important topics like stranger awareness and bullying are covered during the fourday camp.

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