By Jill Levin
Jill Levin“The greatest things we can give our children are roots and wings.” – W. Hodding Carter II.

As parents, we want to hold our children close and help them establish their roots. Yet equally as important is to give our children wings to explore, experience the world around them and create new relationships. Going to an overnight camp is the perfect way to do this! Camp is not just a place for your children to spend a few weeks out of the summer; it’s something they will hold in their hearts forever.

As the California advisor for Tips on Trips and Camps, I help connect parents and their children with overnight camps and teen programs.

Tips on Trips and Camps represents over 600 overnight summer camps, trips and programs for students ages 8 – 18. These run the gamut from traditional and specialty camps to student travel and language immersion, from sports and cultural exploration to STEM programs and from outdoor adventure programs to community service across the globe. Students can choose from programs such as internships and academic study on college campuses both here and abroad, music camps, and digital media and robotics programs. There are also teen tours; sailing adventures; biking, creative and performing arts programs; and camps that are designed for those with special needs. Our team of 15 advisors thoroughly vets each program by interviewing directors, personally visiting programs in session, and gathering feedback from recent participants.

I travel each summer around the country looking at camps in session – seeing campers engaged in wonderful activities and having so much fun. During these visits I often have the opportunity to speak with campers and ask them what they feel is the best thing about camp. Here is what they say:
“The fun!”
“You get to pick your own schedule.”
“You can be yourself.”
“Stronger friendships than at home.”
“Evening programs.”
“Making friends from all over the world.”
“Nobody judges you at camp.”
“No pressure.”
“I love when it rains, because you can slide in the mud!”
“We’re too busy to miss our parents.”
“No clicks.”
“A good bubble.”
“Shaving cream fights!”
“This is my second home.”
While many parents are anxious about sending their child away for the first time, I can help ease your anxiety by matching your child to the perfect program.

I hold a camp fair once a year so that parents and their children can learn about many of the programs offered and meet their directors. This year’s fair is coming up on Sunday, February 5, 2017 and will be at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, from 11 am to 2 pm. I’ll be there to help guide parents to programs that would be a good fit for their child! Come by and be sure to introduce yourself. If you can’t attend, don’t hesitate to call me so we can discuss your child and I can send you camps and programs that best fit their needs.

Jill has spent the past fifteen years as a summer program advisor for Tips on Trips and Camps, a FREE advisory service for families who are looking for overnight camps and teen programs for their children, ages 8 to 18. Her work allows her to visit camps and programs across the country and to get to know various camp directors as they come through our area. This allows her to recommend the right programs to inquiring families who want their children to have an experience best tailored to their specific needs. Jill emphasizes that contacting a TIPS advisor is a free service for parents, who have nothing to lose and a lot to gain!