Even though it's still early March and rainy weather is predicted this week here in Los Angeles, don't let that prevent you from looking for a summer day camp or overnight camp for your kids.
When you consider the millions of families with kids living in L.A. who've already started searching for camps -- not to mention the countless others who've already registered their kids up for various programs -- it's best not to wait any longer before beginning your search for a camp this summer.
Most summer camps in L.A. operate with very limited capacity restrictions. If you want to make sure your child grabs one of the few available spots, we advise narrowing down your list of prospective programs to a select two or three, doing your due diligence, then picking your preferred program as soon as possible.
When it comes to finding a great L.A. summer camp, the early bird gets the worm. Many camps have long waiting lists of anxious families hoping space opens up for their camper. Find a camp now so you can avoid disappointment later.
How to Choose the Perfect Los Angeles Summer Camp (Easy 3-Step Camp Search Process)
We want summer 2019 to be your child's best camp experience ever. L.A.'s got a extraordinarily large number of camps to choose from, but just spending a little time on our website will help you find the perfect camp fit for your child.
1. What Kind of Camp are You Looking For? (Figure this out first.)
The first step in your summer camp search should be to identify a list of camps with a program and activity focus that matches the sorts of things your child likes to do.
Just last week, we spoke with a parent who signed her child up for a Los Angeles area sleepaway camp, but her daughter wanted a day camp instead.
Our advice? We strongly suggested the mother follow her daughter's wishes. Ignoring her daughter's preference for a day camp versus a sleepaway program would not only lesson her chances for a good camp experience, it would probably create resistance the very idea of attending camp in the first place.
So the important lesson here is, start by finding the type of camp your child wants, then begin your camp search there.
2. Visit the Camp's Website, then Visit the Camp Itself
Summer camp websites these days are so full of great information and colorful pictures, videos, and virtual tours, it almost seems like you're standing right in the middle of the camp site itself. But you're not!
Gathering online information from camps that interest you is a great idea, but remember, these are only first impressions and the websites are designed to "sell" you on their programs.
If you find a camp you like online, your next step is to reach out to the camp director in person to ask whatever questions you might have -- but don't stop there!
We highly advise visiting the camp in person so you can meet the camp director and his or her staff face to face while taking a live tour of the camp site. (If the camp does not offer personal tours -- which would be unusual, since most typically do -- then attending an Open House is the next best thing. Check out our listings for some upcoming Los Angeles summer camp open house dates and times.
3. Still Impressed After Seeing the Camp in Person? Check References!
After you've met the camp director and camp counselors and visited the camp in person, you might feel somewhat differently (positively or negatively) compared to your initial impressions upon finding the camp online.
Maybe you don't like the camp as much now as you thought you did before. On the other hand, maybe your visit confirmed your initial feelings and now you love it even more. In any case, your trip to the camp was worthwhile because now you're either sure you want to sign up or ready to move on to the next step in your camp search -- something you wouldn't have been able to do with as much confidence had you made your decision site unseen.
Assuming you love it and your child does too, the final step in the process before signing up should be to check references. Ask the camp director for names or two or three past or current camp families who wouldn't mind sharing their impressions of the camp program with you.
If you are impressed by what you hear, now is the time to sign up!
If not, you can either ask to speak with a few more references, or move on to another camp.
There are so many different summer camps in Los Angeles to choose from, even if you don't find one you love right away, keep looking! You are bound to find your child's perfect L.A. summer camp sooner rather than later.
Where are your kids going to camp this summer?
As summer camp website publishers, we speak with many parents looking for outstanding camp programs for their kids.
Some families want a traditional sleepaway camp experience. Others are hunting for that perfect day camp , while still others have no perceived notion about which kind of camp would be best for their kids. They'll know it when they find it.
Yet despite so many different approaches to finding a camp, there also seems to be one common thread among every parent we talk to: Nobody can believe the school year's almost over and the summer camp sign up season is upon us!
Have you already signed up your child for camp?
Many parents have already arranged summer camp programming for their kids. Savvy moms and dads know many camps fill up early and didn't want to run the risk of their child missing out. If you're one of the early birds who already registered your child in the program of your choice, pat yourself on the back and accept hearty congratulations from us!
But what if you haven't signed up for camp yet?
Will your child miss out on your number one camp because you waited too long to sign up?
Please don't worry! Even though a few camp directors we spoke to last week said they're close to selling out, this is probably an exception, not the rule. Many of the most popular Los Angeles summer camps still have ample space available for anyone who want to go. It's not too late!
What Kinds of Camps Are Available?
If you're looking for a specific type of program or already know which camp your child wants to attend this summer, we suggest contacting them right away. Every minute that goes buy without signing up for the camp of your choice means another potential camper grabbed your child's spot.
If you don't have any specific requirements as to which camp -- which type of camp -- you choose for your child this summer, then you probably don't have as much to worry about regarding available space. Los Angeles is filled with hundreds of amazing programs to consider, so even if one or two that catch your eye are already full, you can simply move down to the next camp on your list and your child will still have a great time.
We suggest looking into a program the offers the kinds of activities your child will enjoy. We also advise including your child in the decision-making process, as research shows kids enjoy camp more when they plays a role in choosing their own camp. Here's just a partial a list of many types of camps and programs in Los Angeles you can consider:
Your Summer Camp Takeaway
Whether you've been meaning to sign up for camp and just haven't gotten around to it -- or you've been sitting on your hands and just plain unmotivated about doing so -- take heart knowing there's still time to register, for L.A.'s most sought-after programs.
But you need to act fast.
Camps will eventually sell out, so start your camp search now to beat everyone else to the punch.
Parents and kids looking for a summer camp in Los Angeles will be thrilled with the selection of so many amazing program opportunities at the upcoming camp fair in Calabasas on Sunday, April 22.
But something that might surprise you is that even though the camp fair will be loaded with L.A. camps, there will be several other programs exhibiting from out of town.
In fact two camps from the east coast are even attending the L.A. Calabasas camp fair. So if you're considering sending your child to an overnight camp this summer, one of these cross-country programs might interest you.
The camp offers leading-edge activity programming that includes water-sports, land sports, creative, performing and culinary arts as well as out-of-camp excursions.
Programs are tailored to meet campers' needs and kids are encouraged to make choices, take risks and accept new challenges.
The camp is accredited by the American Camp Association and meals nut and gluten-free.
New electronics are permitted at Camp Wekeela.
We had a GREAT time at last Sunday's L.A. Camp Fair at UCLA!
Despite the rainy weather -- and the last minute move to hold the Camp Fair inside Pauley Pavillion rather than outside the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center -- over 1,000 people attended the Camp Fair! These families got to meet and interact with camp representatives from 62 amazing day camps, overnight camps, and every other kind of camp and summer program you can imagine.
We are so happy to be able to match up so many families with so many wonderful programs. We know you will find a fantastic summer camp experience for your kids this year, simply because you attended the Camp Fair!
But if you were among the hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds and HUNDREDS!) of families who attended Sunday's event, now your real work begins!
After collecting lots of brochures and meeting many people, you now have the task of sorting through all your materials to find a great camp for your child.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming seeing so many camps and people together in one place, so we've compiled a list for you below with links to all the camps who participated at Sunday's Los Angeles Summer Camp Fair. Just click on the links below to visit each camp's website and learn more.
(By the way, the following list is also a great resource for families who may have missed Sunday's UCLA Camp Fair and want to find a super program for their kids this summer!)
Participating Camps and Programs at the L.A. Camp Fair at UCLA on Sunday, March 11, 2018
Thank you again to all who attended and we hope you have an awesome experience at camp this summer!
Camp Quest West is a sleep-away summer camp for curious minds: fun, exploration, science, critical thinking and Humanist values. Learn and grow in a tolerant environment of support, inclusion, and diversity where participants openly discuss what it means to be a skeptic, a scientist, a philosopher, a feminist, a leader, a freethinker, and a Humanist.
You can meet representatives from Camp Quest West and many other overnight summer camps at the upcoming L.A. Camp Fair events on March 11 at UCLA, April 14 in Thousand Oaks and April 22 in Calabasas.
Attending L.A. Camp Fair the free and smart, fast and easy way to find your child's perfect summer program for 2018 because it removes the overwhelming and time-consuming process of spending time visiting hundred's of camp websites, making phone call after call, and sending and receiving countless emails to and from camp directors and then sorting through everything just to find some that interest you.
Instead, at the Camp Fair, you can meet and interact with camp representatives from many of the best summer camps in Los Angeles in person. You can get a much better impression and personal feel for the programs and people you're entrusting your child to this summer when you meet them face to face versus emailing them back and forth!
The L.A. Camp Fair is like a "one-stop-shop" for finding the best camp because instead of spending time tracking down all the camps individually for information, all the camps come to you!
Best of all, the Camp Fair is FREE so grab you free tickets today and we'll see you at our UCLA, Thousand Oaks, or Calabasas (or even better, all THREE) Camp Fair events soon!
Meet Representatives from Outdoor Journeys - Camp Nawakwa at the L.A. Camp Fair
Beautiful Day Camp and Resident Camp in the San Bernadino Mountains
Their beautiful and private 14-acre site is in the middle of the National Forest, therefore, it offers much more than just what is contained within its boundaries.
Camp Nawakwa is ideal for large groups. There are many buildings that can serve as sleeping cabins; the main lodge/dining hall can be used as a roomy in-door meeting area; and there are many quiet outdoor spots to work in or to just enjoy.
The camp has the capacity to house 210 participants year round. Outside of the summer months groups are welcome to rent out the entire facility and perform their own catering or save all the hassles and worries, by leaving the cooking to the camp staff.
If you are looking for a summer day camp, overnight camp or both, consider Camp Nawakwa! Representatives from their program will be available to meet you and answer all your questions at the L.A. Camp Fair at UCLA on Sunday, March 11. Come by and say hello!
L.A. Camp Fair 2018 is a summer camp expo in Los Angeles featuring over 100 summer day camps, sleepaway camps, specialty camps and many other kinds of fun and exciting programs where families can connect live in person with camp counselors, staff and other representatives from the exhibiting camps and learn about their programs.
Attending a Camp Fair is one of the most (if not THE most) convenient and informative ways to find out about all the available summer camp opportunities for your child because Camp Fairs provide an environment where so many different camps all come together under one roof to share and discuss their programs and activities with you and to see if their program would be a good fit for your son or daughter this summer.
In fact, many of the participating summer camps will be doing sample live activities and demonstrations at their booths so your child can get a "sneak peak" at the actual activities they'd enjoy at camp this summer.
Where Does the L.A. Camp Fair Take Place?
The Camp Fair takes place at three different locations in greater L.A. on three separate dates this year in March and April. No matter where you live in L.A., you'll find a convenient Camp Fair event near you.
Camp Fair Tickets are Entirely Free
Several parents have reached out to us inquiring about whether L.A. Camp Fair tickets cost money. The answer is no! Tickets to all three camp fair events are entirely free, and just one ticket will admit your whole family to any of the three Camp Fairs.
What happens if you show up to the Camp Fair without tickets? No worries, you won't be turned away! To the contrary, you'll be welcomed with open arms to any or all three L..A. Camp Fair events whether or not you show up at the door with tickets. But we suggest getting tickets beforehand for two reasons.
First, reserving your tickets ahead of time helps us know how many families to expect at each event. We want to make sure we have the right amount of games, food, activities and everything else, so your advance ticket helps us plan better for the right number of people.
Second, your free Camp Fair ticket automatically enters you into drawings and raffles to win gifts, prizes, and even free camp sessions from participating camp exhibitors
Free Tickets to One, Two or All Three Camp Fair Events
Here's where to get your free tickets to the L.A. Camp Fair. You can reserve your tickets today and they'll will be emailed to you immediately, and you can print them out or even download them and/or save them to your phone so you don't have ever have to print them in the first place. Upon your arrival at the Camp Fair, just show your ticket to one of our helpful L.A. Camp Fair concierges and we'll give you a bunch or free raffle tickets on the spot.
As we always say, one of the things that makes attending a camp fair so worthwhile for families is the diverse set of program opportunities to discover in one place.
At the upcoming L.A. Camp Fair, for instance, you'll be able to meet camp staff and representatives from over 100 programs to help you find the perfect camp for your child this summer.
Regarding diversity, there will be day camps, sleepaway camps, specialty camps (like sports, cooking, acting and just about any other kind of specialty-focused program you can image) at the L.A. Camp Fair. One of the overnight camps exhibiting their program will be River Way Ranch Camp, a highly known and popular California resident camp.
What Makes River Way Ranch Camp So Fun?
Lots of things. For one thing, campers will make tons of happy memories and great friendships from their camp experience at River Way.
Family owned and operated since 1967, River Way specializes in delivering premier California residential summer camp experiences for ages 7-16.
River Way’s highly-trained and genuine counselors build strong and lasting connections with campers while providing premium instruction in our 75+ activities. From horseback riding to water-skiing and culinary arts, there are always new adventures ready to be discovered.
Meet Staff from Riverway Ranch Camp at the March 11 and April 22 L.A. Camp Fair Events
L.A. Camp Fair 2018 is a series of the summer camp expo events taking place Sunday, March 11 at UCLA; Saturday, April 14 in Thousand Oaks; and Sunday, April 22 in Calabasas.
River Way will be attending the March 11 and April 22 events where you'll be able to meet their staff, learn about their program and see how they operate on a day-to-day basis during the summer.
Admission to the Camp Fairs is totally free so grab your free tickets today and we'll see you at L.A. Camp Fair 2018!
For more information, you can certainly contact LACM directly. However, we suggest attending L.A. Camp Fair 2018 and meeting them in person!
L.A. Camp Fair is greater L.A.'s biggest summer camp expo with three event dates and locations in March and April this year. LACM along with other music camps will be there ready to meet you and share and discuss their various summer program opportunities for your child this summer, so grab your free tickets today and we'll see you at the Camp Fair
It's Only October, But Camps Have Already Begun Planning and Marketing their 2018 Programs
Even though summer recently ended and campers have returned to school, this is an exciting time for camps in general as many have already begun planning new and exciting activities for their 2018 summer camp seasons.
The fall and early winter months (generally September through December) are also when most camps begin marketing their programs for the future summer.
Two L.A. summer camps in particular, Pali Overnight Adventures and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy, are have already gotten started promoting their respective 2018 camps with new listings on L.A. Summer Camps.com. The camps are listed on the site's L.A. Overnight Camps and Specialty Summer Camps pages.
Both Pali and URJ 6 Points Sports offer unique summer camp programming.
Pali offers many amazing specialty camp activities from stunt man camps to cooking adventures and everything in between.
URJ 6 Points Sports has a genuinely interesting program concept in its own right; it's one of the only (if not THE only) sleepaway Jewish sports camps we know about in Los Angeles.
Go ahead and check out Pali Adventures and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy when you can. And don't forget to check back here often as we share more information about various 2018 Los Angeles Summer Camp opportunities going forward.
Here's a cool concept ... a Jewish summer camp offering both a day camp and sleepaway camp program to choose from. Or you could even attend both!
Camp Alonim, located in Simi Valley, strives to spark a love for Jewish culture and tradition in our campers by exposing them to a multitude of ways to be Jewish. We offer a variety of activities such as art, mountain biking, swimming, ropes courses, horseback riding, dance, performing arts, sports, and more! We offer both overnight and day camps, with many scholarships available.
Camp Alonim is one of the premier Jewish summer camps in the L.A. area. Be sure to stop by their booth and meet to meet their camp directors and learn about their programs at the April 23 L.A. Calabasas Camp Fair.
Ojai Valley Summer (OVS) offers an ideal setting for day and overnight campers (age 8-16) to engage in enriching academic adventures, participate in fun-filled traditional camp activities, develop life long skills and make great summer memories! Separate morning programs for Equestrian, Robotics, ESL and Jr. Campers (age 3-7) are also available! Come meet us at the L.A. Calabasas Camp Fair and spend your summer with us Ojai this year!!
Crazzy Craig's Wasewagan Summer Camp and Retreat will be at L.A. Camp Fair 2017
Crazzy Craig's Wasewagan Summer Camp and Retreat will be attending the April 23 L.A. Camp Fair.
Family owned and operated, and nestled in the beautiful mountains near Big Bear, Wasewagan offers an unforgettable camp experience for campers 5 to 16. The camp was established in 1933 and offers 1 or 2 week session options.
EXCITING ACTIVITIES include Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, Water Slide, Glow Bowling, Roller Skating and Zoo Trip, Ropes Course, Paintball, Zipline, Horseback Riding, Riflery, Archery, Swimming, Canoeing, Fencing, Mountain Biking, and much more. Come make some lifetime friends and have an AWESOME ADVENTURE!
Meet Crazzy Craig and his Staff
You will be able to meet Crazzy Craig and his staff, not to mention the adorable little bunnies he brings to Camps Fairs, on April 23 so you know it will be a great time!
As more camps sign up for L.A. Camp Fair 2017, we will post about them here so you know which programs will be attending ahead of time.
Parents learn about summer camp opportunities for their kids in many different ways. Maybe the get a referral from a friend, discover a program via online search, or some other way.
But did you know attending a Camp Fair is one of the best ways to learn about many different programs and meet their representatives all in once place?
Camp Fairs are live events where many camps are on display, usually in booths or tables, which are staffed by the camp representatives themselves.
Parents and kids go booth to booth meeting the camp representatives and learning about the various programs.
Camp Fairs are generally free to the public (the camps pay the Camp Fair promoter to attend the event) and usually take place on weekends.
L.A. Summer Camps.com will be putting on a Camp Fair in Calabasas on Sunday, April 23 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. Dozens upon dozens of camps will be there, from day camps to overnight camps to specialty camps and more.
More information is coming soon, including how camps and programs can register for this event and families can get free tickets. So be sure to follow our blog and check back often to learn more about this fantastic summer camp event!
Blog posts by Cora Carter of L.A. Summer Camps.com