Want to know a secret? How happy you are with a summer program is directly proportionate to the number of questions you ask before you sign up. But before you can go, you need to make sure your parents are happy with your program of choice, too. Parents worry, but they can’t help it.

Agreeing on a summer program

So how do you make sure the program you’re dying to go to will get their stamp of approval? By doing a little bit of homework and reading between the lines, you can tell a lot about a camp, academic program, or travel group. This will give you the info you need to explain to the rents why that bike tour across southern Canada (or whatever other adventure you come up with) is a great investment. Although they might be more enthused if you got a summer job, your research can help them see why a summer program will be just as valuable.

Searching for a summer youth program

Here are some tips to help guide your search:

  • Start looking early. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to ask around, write away for family references (which most programs are happy to provide), and follow up with the programs directly.
  • Ask around. Your friends, neighbors, and other family members can give you leads on great summer programs.
  • When asking family and friends for advice, don’t just ask if they liked a particular camp, course, or tour — ask them what they liked and didn’t like.
  • Get brochures from a variety of summer programs. Comparing these materials will help you make a more informed decision. You might even discover an interest you didn’t know you had!
  • Arrange a tour or visit. Many programs invite families to visit their facilities during the session or off-season.
  • If you can’t work in an on-site tour, ask if the program offers a video. Many communities also offer camp fairs where you and your parents can meet with program directors in person.

Show that you’re serious

If you’re really serious about a student summer program, your parents will be more likely to give it consideration. But beyond all that, doing a little research on the front end will ensure that you end up with tons of great stories tell when it’s time to head back to school.

Have fun!