Kids Share Why Camp is Great: Ask parents about the benefits of a children’s summer camp program and you can pretty much guarantee that those who have either attended camp themselves or whose children return to the same camp each year will wax poetic about the experience. 

We spoke with kids and teens who say camp isn’t just a place—it’s a second home and an experience that doles out important life lessons they continue to use long after their camp’s closing ceremonies. 

"...Most of all, I am happy to have time to play outdoors with my summer friends. I even ride on the 4th of July float with fellow Felix Neck campers!” —Abigail, 7½, Massachusetts

"I attended Brown Ledge Camp in Colchester, VT. My camp experience was unlike any I had ever had before."  —Rebecca P., 17, New Jersey

"I went to Windsor Mountain International in New Hampshire from seventh grade until junior year of high school. The camp is known for hosting a large number of campers who come from all over the world. Having camp friends is a very unique experience because you find people are really different at camp than they are in the actual world."  —Seamus, 20, New Hampshire

MOMS Club of Easton raises $5K at Winter Carnival: Children sported face paint of their favorite characters and toted along balloon creations as they bounced in inflatable playgrounds, danced along to music and navigated a gymnastics course at Maplewood Country Day Camp. Maplewood Country Day Camp has served as the venue for Winter Carnival for many years. 

"We enjoy working with the MOMS Club," said Lee Pinstein, Maplewood director. "It's a great fit for Maplewood."

Kids Raise Money to Help those with Disabilities Attend Camp: Some kids do not have the opportunity to go to camp and to help them have that opportunity, some kids in Hermon are teaming up to raise money. Making something as little such as a penny, count. Whether they are in preschool or in middle school, kids are learning at a young age the importance of helping their neighbor.

"We know it's for a good cause," said Luke Sherman, a 7th grade student at Hermon Middle School, "We know we are going to do things with the snowmobilers and that it's for those with special needs."

The Q106.5 Snowmobile Ride-In benefits the Pine Tree Camp.

 "Our classes both mornings and afternoon collected pennies to help fill buckets and help kids with disabilities go to summer camp," said Cathy Thompson, a preschool teacher.

Picking the Right Summer Camp: With the wide variety of camps on or near the shoreline, choosing one isn't easy. But all those choices also mean that you can probably find a camp that is perfect for your child. There are many factors to take into account... 

"They get to choose and select the activities they would most like to do while they're here," says Laurie Bouchard, office manager at Camp Hazen. "We have a radio station here that they can get involved in. There's sand art and camp jewelry and tie-dye and all sorts of creative arts."

Integrating, Including, Celebrating and Needing All Types of Campers: Last March, I attended the Foundation for Jewish Camp conference on Inclusion and had the privilege of hearing Pamela Schuller speak. Her story hit me hard: isolated from the Jewish community because of a disability that wasn’t understood and ultimately feeling a sense of belonging because of positive experiences at a Jewish overnight camp. Pamela’s message was clear: Inclusion should be about celebrating the individual while still accommodating their needs. As I went into my first summer as inclusion coordinator at Camp Yavneh, I wondered if her message could truly be implemented in today’s Jewish camps.

As summer quickly approached I thought about Pamela’s words of “celebrating while still accommodating” the individual. I wanted the campers to feel that they were integrated, included, celebrated and needed at Camp Yavneh.

Winter Camp Unites Families of Hemophilia: The Hemophilia Alliance of Maine and the New England Hemophilia Association put on a weekend of winter activities at Camp Mechwuana, including snowshoeing and ice fishing. This is the first year of this camp. Kids from Massachusetts, Connecticut,  The two organizations have hosted a similar summer program in the past.

Hemophilia is a disorder that can make it difficult for blood to clot, or can cause a patient to bleed excessively when injured. The disorder is hereditary.

"We're really trying to find connections with other opportunities outside of our community," said Packard. "There are so many layers of the challenges that you face. Finding ways to connect with the community is super important." 

Here's How Summer Camps Welcome Their Youngest Charges: “You have to know your child and what they can handle,” she said, adding that “some parents with kids who have trouble separating find camp even more helpful at a younger age because it builds independence.”

Luckily, most Jewish summer camps pay close attention to easing their youngest kids into the sleepaway experience. From pre-camp meet-and-greets to special presents for first-time campers to the common availability of ultra-short sessions — anywhere from five to 11 days — camps are acutely aware of the need to gently transition their littlest and newest campers into the culture of overnight camp...

At Camp Modin, a pluralistic sleepaway camp in Maine, and the oldest Jewish camp in New England, the youngest campers are 8, or going into third grade. 

Here's Why You Should Send Your Kid to an Arts Camp This Summer: Arts camps can deliver more subtle benefits, too. “Camps encourage the kind of collaboration, innovation, and problem solving that you don’t get in school anymore,” says Bette Bussel, executive director of the American Camp Association’s New England.

 Accredited ACA New England Camps listed in this article include: Beam Camp, Camp Med-O-Lark, Buck's Rock Performing & Creative Arts Camp, and Beaver Summer Camp.

Adventure Day at Becket YMCA Camp Gives Vets a Day of Fun with Their Families: The swing at Chimney Corners is located on the top of the 100-foot-high alpine tower.

"It's pretty high up there," said 10-year-old Gabrielle Mora of Worcester, who climbed the 100-foot tower and went on the swing. "But it was a lot of fun."

Gabrielle and her younger brother, 8-year-old Matthew, were among 50 or so participants Saturday in Berkshire County's first "Adventure Day," designed to provide bonding opportunities for military veterans and their families.

The CONNsumer: Find the Right Summer Camp: My advice for parents looking for a camp is that they should do their research,” says Keith Garbart, president of the Connecticut Camping Association, a nonprofit that advocates good camping practices in the state.

Camp Horizons in Windham is one of 17 camps — of all types — for people with developmental disabilities. Camp Horizons accepts campers from ages 8 to 39, with those 40 and over eligible for the camp’s masters program. 

“There’s a camp for everyone,” says Garbart. “It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.”