We hate to break it to you, but summer is only four months away! Spring break is actually just around the corner, and Christmas is now nearly two months in the past. Here are just a few reasons to start thinking about your child’s summer plans sooner rather than later

1.       Reserve your spot

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), more than 11 million children attend 12,000 camps in the United States every year. That’s a lot of kids going to a lot of camps, but don’t be fooled by the big numbers. Registration for many camps begins at the beginning of the school year—yes, we’re talking waaaay back in September—and you don’t want to be stuck on a waiting list with your summer plans up in the air. While some camps don’t fill up until late spring, many will have specific programs, dates or locations that sell out early. In the case of SuperCamp, for instance, our Stanford location is typically the first to fill, with less than half of the seats remaining at the time of this writing. Specialized summer programs (such as Quantum U for us) also tend to fill up before other sessions.

2.       Save money

This is a big one—so big, in fact, that it can be broken down in three different ways:

a.       Early bird savings: many summer programs encourage early enrollment with discounts, and these discounts can vary throughout the fall from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. In the case of SuperCamp, we are currently offering a $100 discount for all of those that enroll before April 15, 2014 and an additional $100 discount for returning SuperCamp graduates. Many camps offer these sorts of early bird discounts, from 5-10% off tuition to free merchandise if you enroll or apply earlier.

b.      Airline discounts: For those summer programs that are held not-so-close to home, enrolling early can make a HUGE difference in airfare costs. Quite simply, the sooner you reserve your spot at camp, the sooner you can book that flight—and we all know that booking early can save you hundreds of dollars.

c.       Monthly payments: Many summer programs (such as SuperCamp) offer a monthly payment option, so that you can pay for camp in installments instead of writing one big check. The sooner you sign up, the smaller these installments will be!

 3.       Hit up camp fairs

If you’re new to the camp scene, consider going to camp fairs to learn more about summer programs that take place both in your area and around the world. They usually start around February (wait—that’s NOW!) and run until April or May. If you’re not new to the summer camp scene, you know that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of choices out there. Camp fairs can help! You and your children can speak with representatives from different camps to learn more about their programs. Often held in schools, camp fairs are usually open to the public and are generally free to attend. For SuperCamp, we explore camp fairs out west, in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Bay area. The ACA posts a list of camp fairs across the country on their website.

4.       Ease of mind

The number of day camps has increased by 69% and resident camps have increased by 21% since 2002. In other words, you have OPTIONS. The longer you wait, the more options you’re going to stumble across, so do your research now! Make a list of what you’re looking for in a summer camp experience for your child, and find out which camps can fulfill your needs. As the school year progresses, you’re only going to get busier, planning for spring break and end-of-year activities such as banquets, graduations, sports tournaments and the like. Most camps require paperwork, including a health history form signed by a doctor. For SuperCamp, we also require academic recommendations from teachers. Planning ahead allows you to schedule any required appointments, complete the necessary forms and give teachers plenty of time to write up a stellar recommendation for your child. Finally, by making your summer plans now, you’ll be able to truly prepare for your child’s camp experience—explore the camp website and youtube channel, engage with them on social media, learn more about staff and print off a packing list so that you have everything you need well ahead of time.

Well….what are you waiting for?! Get planning.

The final early enrollment discount for SuperCamp ends on April 15, 2014. For this and the reasons listed above, don’t wait any longer! Register now or call an enrollment counselor on 800-285-3276, extension 200.