Deciding to send a child away for a night, a week or even an entire summer can be a very scary proposition. When the reason is for a summer camp, the worries ease a little, but not necessarily a bunch. There are things parents and their musically inclined children can look for in band camps and themselves to ensure the choice is a good one.
Band camps can be held in daytime only venues, but the most common route involves a set period of time dedicated to some pretty intense training. Before making the decision to even consider different band camps, it’s a very good idea to be certain of the following things:
Maturity. Whether it’s a weekend away from home, two weeks or months at a time, a child needs to have a certain level of maturity to truly enjoy the experience. If your youth has never been away from home before, a two-month camp might not be the wisest of choices. A single week crash course might work though.
Interest. Does your child really have an interest in exploring band camps? If not, this might not be the wisest route to go.
Acceptance. Are you willing to give your child up for the set time? Saying goodbye for even a week can be a tough proposition for a parent. If you’re not ready and the child isn’t either, perhaps a day camp would be more in order?
Affordability. Band camps can get pretty expensive. Make sure it really is within your budget or consider some of the scholarship possibilities that might be available for particularly promising youth.
If the decision has been made and band camps definitely appeal, there are still plenty of questions that will need asking and answering. When looking at different camps, consider the following:
Distance from home. This can be particularly important for those new at being away and their parents, too.
Programs offered. Does the camp you’re looking at offer intense training in your child’s instrument of choice? If not, another camp might be better suited.
Length of time. Some camps offer one-week programs, others two weeks or even a month or two. Consider the camps that fit personal choice on this matter.
Other activities. While it’s true the purpose of band camps is to help youth become more proficient with their instruments and perhaps even performing in front of crowds, that shouldn’t be the only activity. At least a side line or two of something else should be in place.
Qualifications, reputation. If you’re sending your child away to a band camp to learn about the tuba, for example, make sure the people on the other end know what they are doing. Be certain to check into musical qualifications, and also the camp’s reputation for taking care of their youthful charges.
Parental involvement. Make sure you can at the very least check out the camp in person, if you’d like. If you are particularly concerned, see if it’s possible to volunteer a day or two to check it out.
Band camps are rising in popularity by leaps and bounds. They can offer fantastic experiences for youth who truly enjoy playing music. Just make sure you and your child are ready for the experience and do check them out to be doubly sure.