Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Good to Great: Your Summer Camp Checklist

Camp Galileo has been in Almaden Valley providing our kids with art, science, creativity, innovation, friendships and fun for the past 9 years.  After residing at the Almaden Country School for 8 years, Camp Galileo successfully moved to the Los Alamitos Elementary campus last summer.  This year, they are back at Los Alamitos and adding their Galileo Summer Quest Camp for grades 5-8.  My kids have attended Camp Galileo for the past 3 summers, and really enjoyed the camp's "thinking outside the box" atmosphere.  We still have their artwork on out walls!  This is a sponsored article from Camp Galileo.  

Good to Great: Your Summer Camp Checklist

There are a lot of good summer camps out there. But you want to send your kids to a great one. How can you rest assured you’ve found the crème de la camp without losing sleep over summer scheduling? Try this simple checklist, guaranteed to separate the great from the merely good.

1. Safety: First things first: How does your potential camp rank on the safety scale? Accreditation from the American Camp Association assures that a camp meets certain health, safety and program quality standards. Beyond that, ask a few more questions: Is the staff first aid certified? What camper-to-staff ratio does the camp maintain? How are kids supervised during the day and checked out at the end of it? Your camp should take safety as seriously as you do.

2. Staff: A camp is only as good as its staff, so ask some questions about your potential camp’s people: How old are they? What kind of experience and education do they have? How are they hired and trained? How many return year after year? A great camp will give your kids meaningful mentorship from dedicated, experienced people—not just teenaged babysitters.

3. Mission: Is your potential camp on a mission? Take a look beyond the basic activities they offer and ask some philosophical questions: What is the camp’s mission or philosophy? What educational or corporate partners do they align themselves with? What do they value? How do they view their role in your kids’ education? Resist the urge to focus on what your kids will do or make; ask instead about how they will learn. 

4. Activities: Once you’ve checked out your potential camp’s philosophical side, take a good look at those activities. What will your kids do all day? How is the day structured? Are different activities well balanced? Do kids of all ages all do the same thing or is there a more age-specific approach? Is it fun? (This is camp, after all.) A great camp will consider these factors and more to thoughtfully craft a great experience for your kids.

5. Location, location, location (and other matters of convenience): You want your kids to have a great summer, but camp is hardly the only thing on your plate. Your potential camp should get that. Is there a location nearby? Can you drop off as early and pick up as late as you need to? Do they provide lunch? Convenience certainly shouldn’t eclipse quality or safety, but you don’t need to ignore it either.

Galileo operates innovation camps for kids from pre-K through 8th grade across the Bay Area: Camp Galileo, Galileo Summer Quest, The Tech Summer Camps and Chabot Space & Science Camp. To sign up or learn more, visit or call 1-800-854-3684. 


Time to sign up for spring camps! 
Almaden Summer Horse Camp
Almaden Community Center
FUZE Fit for a Kid
Happy Hollow "Land of the Lost" Ages 5-9

Summer Camps Continued (update of camps that are now open for registration):
Almaden Community Center
Camp Fashionista, Willow Glen 
The Little Gym
888 Monkeys Summer Arts Camp

Events & Activities:
March-May   Spring Classes at Happy Hollow    Ages 10 mo.+
April-May    SpringClasses    Hidden Talent Art Studio
3/8            3-4:30PM     Peter Lerangis    Hicklebee's Bookstore 
3/8-3/17    1PM, 2PM, 6PM, 7:30PM    "In the Heights"   Children's Musical Theater  
3/8-3/16    7:30PM, 2PM     Los Gatos High School Spring Musical    "Urinetown"         
3/9            10AM-12PM     Cheese Please Pizza Lunch    Hidden Villa     Ages 6-11
3/9            12-4PM     Science Saturday  Animals in Winter     YSI Vasona 
3/9            3:30-5PM      Cow Wow     Hidden Villa      Ages 5+     farm tours all weekend too!
3/9            6:45-9:45PM    Grade School Movie Night    PSN    The Little Gym  Ages 6+
3/9-3/30    10AM-12PM     Saturday Sewing Classes Pattern/Dress  Camp Fashionista  Ages 10+  
3/9-3/30    1PM-3PM     Saturday Sewing Classes   Level 1 Ages 7/8+  Required for Summer Camp
3/10          12PM-3PM   Prego Palooza    Starlite Banquet Facility    Willow Glen
3/13-16      Castillero Advanced Drama     "High School Musical"  

Coming Soon: 
3/16           Parents' Survival Night   The Little Gym
3/15-17      The Lollipop Market Consignment    Willow Glen
3/18-5/11   YMCA Youth Sports Spring    Registration Open
3/15-3/23   Pioneer Performing Arts  "Hello Dolly!"
3/30           CASA Fashion Show "Ablaze"        Los Gatos High School   
3/30 & 31   Eggstraordinary Easter Egg Hunt   Roaring Camp Railroads    Felton
5/18          Girls On the Run 5K at Vasona Lake Park   Registration Open   

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2013 Design Logo Contest- The Almaden Valley Women’s Club invites students residing in the 95120 zip codes to submit their entries by April 12.

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