Why we need camps!

Have you picked up our Camp Issue (or perhaps paged through our e-edition) yet?

It's a whopper.

Yep: March is our biggest issue of the year for Minnesota Parent.


Summer camps — whether you’re looking for a half-day camp for your preschooler or an overnight camp for your teen — have become a tremendously important part of growing up in the Twin Cities.

That’s partly because parents today are constantly on the prowl for interesting enrichment activities for their kids: Think music, horseback riding, art, science and even circus skills! 

But it’s also because — let’s be honest — working parents simply can’t take their summers off to stay home with the kids. Oh, how I wish we all could! Isn’t that what they do in Europe?

Alas: If your kids have started school and both parents in your household work full-time — or even part-time — camp isn’t likely to be an optional endeavor.

I have to sign my son up for camps. And because I work 40 hours a week, I need camps that offer before- and after-care hours as well. 

Without summer camps located near my home, I’d have a hard time working a full-time job. Fortunately, Minnesota offers a truly amazing array of options for families.

And so many of them are in our Camp Issue — either in the extensive resource listings in the back, in the advertisements peppering our pages or in our features, where you can take a deeper look at six amazing local camps

We’re here for you!

So, yes, we have to fill our kids’ summers with something, but the good — no, great — news is: These aren’t just glorified day-care programs. These camps are potentially life changing.

Benefits of camp include opportunities for our kids to slow down, unplug from technology, reconnect with nature, exercise, build character and confidence — and develop teamwork or even communal-living skills.

Camps also give our kids chances to try new things and fail — and to be OK with that. 

A recent article by the Camping and Education Foundation said so rightly: Camp doesn’t involve grades, tryouts or the pressure of being the best: “Children can play for play’s sake. They can try something and not worry about the consequences of not doing it perfectly.”

My advice: Sign up early. Popular dates and camps fill up quickly! You don’t want to miss out because you waited too long. 

Need some motivation and inspiration? Check out our online Camp Directory.

Happy planning! 


Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Parent and the mother to a nearly 8-year-old boy, who attends Twin Cities day camps every summer.